It’s a Love Thing

LoveThingWell, tomorrow is the big day! My local church has been announcing plans for an annual event sponsored by the Marriage Ministry, which I am not a part of.  I admit, I have not been fond of Valentine’s Day for a long time. I’m sure you can guess why.

Thankfully, my attitude toward it has changed drastically, although my situation remains the same. Since I let go of my painful past and no longer host pity parties and engage in low self esteem hangout, my perspective is different.  Still, I must be careful not to allow negative reflections of my past or present to be the focus of my thoughts.  If I allow my mind to go back 20 years or dwell on one day, I open myself up for an emotional takeover, and hence, be convinced that I am a victim because of my singleness.  Thank God, I know now that that is a BIG lie from the father of lies (Satan) to deceive many women, young and old. As a result of being deceived, many women make unwise and foolish decisions that put them on a wrong path to living destructive lives.

By the amazing grace of God, I choose to believe my life is complete in Christ! I am convinced that God’s plan and purpose for my life is much bigger and better than I can even imagine. Furthermore, I am persuaded that my singleness is His will for me at this phase in my life. Therefore, I am content.  Rather than allow special events for married couples, seeing aisles filled with candy and carts of roses and TV commercials stifle my spirit and excitement about life, love, joy, peace and happiness, I am able to celebrate them. I can honestly thank God for them and pray God’s continuous blessings in their marriage and relationship.

I choose to celebrate my own “Love thing!”  It’s a relationship that gets better each day. Just to let you know how much my Jesus loves me, today I received an unexpected check in the mail! And no, I am not going to buy myself any roses or MP900440960candy.

Praying that you all have a Happy Valentine’s Day celebrating and enjoying it with the one you truly love.

It’s a LOVE Thing!

Advertisements

Love is patient and kind…

Valentine’s Day is almost here. So once again, it gives me reason to focus more on love and its significance from God’s perspective.

Somewhere in the course of my workweek, 1 Corinthians 13 hit me like a ton of bricks and sent my mind in a whirlwind of thoughts. Reflecting on several incidents that took place in the workplace, in addition to hearing and seeing the news media, I zoomed in on a missing piece of the “relationship” puzzle of life. 1 Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is patient and kind…” It’s PATIENT and KIND? I admit I have had to take the “patience” exam several times because I failed it. Yes, even after accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. But once I realized that my relationship with God is more evident in how I relate to my fellowman, I chose to change my behavior. I can’t say I love God and hate my brothers and sisters (1 John 4:20). I asked Him to help be more patient with people. And needless to say, the tests kept coming until I began studying the individual—seeing them from God’s perspective—His unconditional love for them and me regardless our imperfections. Oh! I know firsthand how some persons work your nerves more than others, and it seems impossible to be patient and kind too! For example, having to tolerate an arrogant coworker, a demanding boss, or an obnoxious consumer makes you consider taking a pain reliever so that you can get through the day.

1 Corinthians 13 gives to us God’s descriptive standard for relating to each other in any kind of relationship. Truth is this standard is hard to live up to, but as your desire to be in real relationship with Him, He empowers you to be patient (endure, lenient, understanding, tolerate, and long-suffering with others. If you’re patient with people then you will be kind also. These characteristics are conjoined like peanut butter and jelly, or cake and ice cream. Think of it as God describing His relationship with you—He is PATIENT and KIND toward each of us regardless of how much, or how many times we miss the mark. How is that? Because GOD IS LOVE! (1 John 4:8)

As you are preparing to celebrate Valentine’s, be sure to include “patience” and “kindness” on your list of essentials along with the chocolates, roses, greeting cards, and lovely gifts you give to that significant other. Because after Valentine’s, you are going to need it if you’re going to continue loving that person, or that arrogant coworker, demanding boss, or obnoxious consumer God’s way.

This Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to have a “mirror, mirror” moment and focus on the significance of love from God’s perspective.

The Love Connection

The energy and excitement about Valentine’s Day demanded that retailers stock up early on candy, balloons, roses, greeting cards, stuffed animals, and whatever else that will help people make a love connection on February 14th.

Valentine’s Day is an anticipated holiday for many partners and couples….an occasion to set aside just to express their love and affection for each other. For some, it’s a time to be alone and enjoy each other’s company. Whether it’s at a quiet dinner in a cozy corner of a dimly lit restaurant, or among a reveling crowd at Mardi Gras, it’s a time to connect with that special person.

But for many the valentine connection is short-term because their relationship is casual or just physical; therefore, it has no depth, width, or height, and offers no real connection powerful enough to sustain each other through tough times. Unfortunately, the world’s focus of Valentine centers on romance. Hopefully, Christians have a broader perspective and a divine concept.

Please don’t misunderstand me romance is a wonderful experience governed by godly principles; however in order to maintain a healthy relationship it requires more than romance. Romance is driven by emotion. And depending on the mood, or feelings on any given day, there’s no romance. Not to mention, it’s easy to mistake love for lust especially on Valentine’s Day.

Of course, on the flip side, Valentine’s Day is just another day for some people because they don’t have anyone to celebrate it with; so they ignore it. Some people are so heartbroken by their ‘loveless’ dilemma that they are depressed on Valentine’s Day.

But here’s a different twist—a biblical perspective on making a “love connection” this Valentine’s Day…

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]. —I John 4:7-8 (Amplified)

Gleaning from the above passage, a fundamental principle for having a love connection is a spiritual experience that originates with God, and is continuous as one’s knowledge, understanding, perception and recognition of God gets better and becomes clearer. It’s also known as growing in your faith walk and relationship with Christ, which also equates to spiritual maturity. It’s impossible to grow spiritually without being in a committed relationship with God. [Just like in the natural…relationships are either broken or developed based on commitment to the relationship].

As my personal love connection with God becomes an essential part of my life, I have a different perspective on God’s concept of love. I recognize it as being “The Law of Love”—God’s law of love that should govern every aspect of human existence. It’s not like a faucet that I can turn on and off. Whether it’s Valentine Day, Presidents’ Day,or the State recognized Confederate Heroes holiday, my love is constant because now I’m allowing God’s law of love to govern my attitude and my actions. It’s a choice I made, and my actions must be consistent with my choice.

The law of love becomes the motivation for everything I do and say. It is not based on my emotion, opinion, or personal preferences. It is motivated by God’s love— this is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him (I John 4:9). Each day as I personally experience Christ’s love through the indwelling Spirit of God, it motivates and empowers me to express and demonstrate that love with others unconditionally. In other words, the “fruit of the Spirit” is evident.

Why is that? I made a conscience decision to OBEY God’s command.

“If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15 NLT)
“If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you.” (John 14:15 Message)
“…all who love me will do what I say.” (John 14:23NLT)

In essence, God’s law of love is consummated by my obedience to His Word whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not.

However, Valentine’s Day is an opportune time for a demonstration of the law of love, not just with your significant other, but with everyone that God allows to cross your path, even your enemies…

Make a true love connection!

©2010 Queen E. F. Phillips