Love clichés permeate my Facebook news feed these days. With Valentine’s Day just a few days away, advertisements abound … too many to even pay attention to!
Sometimes “familiarity breeds contempt.”
Our marketing buddies have scientifically created a rhythm to our shopping experience. Before Christmas items hit the clearance aisle, Valentine’s Day gifts and candy explode onto the endcap. Before we finish that iconic jewelry commercial, Easter bunnies and colored eggs will be knocking on our door.
Sometimes “Familiarity breeds contempt.”
We are fed this idea that if we only had that “someone” to love us, all would be well in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great love story, but it pains me when I see a treasure given to us as a gift made light of or worshiped.
Instead of gazing at love itself, we need to ask ourselves: What kind of God creates LOVE?
Love (Greek: agape) is defined in Scripture as “affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love.”
It is this love that God the Father has for His Son. Messiah Jesus is the object of this love. He has that same love for mankind. Affection, good will, sacrificial love.
Think about it for a minute. The Bible tells us, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).
God is the very essence of love. Truth be told, His love can live in us or we can be devoid of it. Amazing! He created us to house love … a piece of who He is! Incredible.
But sometimes we choose to block out love. Fear, circumstances, and sin contribute to this struggle of what we know we should be like.
We read stories to our children with “that happy-ever-after ending” where love conquers all and everything is set right in the world of imagination.
I’ll never forget the day when my then nine-year-old daughter came out of her bedroom to announce she was sick of all the books she had been reading. “They all have a happy ending! That is just not reality,” she remarked.
Or when my then-four-year-old little man cried while riding in the car, learning that “bad guys” are real in our world and superheroes are not.
Our reality … our world is broken. Sin has broken it. Sin continues to destroy love.
Yet even though we know this reality, we still crave the happy ending in which love conquers all. Something instinctive in our souls knows a love is out there that is so deep it would make the oceans jealous.
There has to be a way for us to live in this love we crave, so that this love can live in us. Thank God – He has made a way!
“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4: 9-10).
This is the love that would drain the depths of the ocean. The God who created love put it on display when He stepped into time and space. We accept the love of the Father by accepting His Son’s perfect act of loving obedience: dying on a cursed tree to redeem us from the curse of sin. That is the epitome of expressive love.
And He still steps into our lives to reveal His amazing love to us.
Almost three years ago, the uncertainty of life was choking out my faith in His goodness and love. One of my sweetest friends was beginning her deadly battle with an aggressive form of cancer. I was sitting on a plane preparing to move across the country and she was sitting in the cancer treatment facility receiving her first round of chemo. I begged the Lord to spare her life … to be with her … to show her He loved her despite the trial she was enduring.
And as light illumines a dark room the Father illuminated my heart to this truth: His love is not flimsy or weak, but strong like concrete. The same GREAT, STRONG LOVE was covering my friend and delivering her from all fear in her time of need, was with me and went ahead of me in my uncertainty.
His love follows us daily. It carries us. His affection toward us is great.
He more than loves us. He likes us. He delights in us. He has good will toward us. He wants the best for us. His love NEVER ends.
Sometimes “Familiarity breeds contempt,” but not when it concerns His great love.