For some today is a great day and we want to celebrate with them. For others it's a difficult day and we want to mourn with them. Some are in a happy relationship and today is a celebration of that, others are excited about the possibility of a relationship, but others are grieving the loss of a loved on or a broken relationship, some wish to be in a relationship and a day like today makes them feel lonely, others are in a relationship but there doesn't seem to be much love in it and so Valentine's Day only highlights what is missing.
What is love anyway? How do we explain the strange feeling? The chances are that you love someone because they love you, or because they're kind, attractive, talented or fun to be around. But does that really get to the heart of what love is? Could you love someone who didn't love you? Someone who ignored you? Even hated you? Someone who did things they knew you wouldn't like and which would hurt you?
I think most of us would struggle to love in those circumstances, but that is the incredible love of God. Romans 5:8 says
"God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Who does God love? Those who hated him! There's quite a bit of confusion of that little 3 letter word 'sin', sometimes people think it's eating too much chocolate or some other bold thing, but it's far more serious than that. Someone once described sin by using it's three letters to mean:
Shove off God
I'm in charge
No to your ways.
It's a helpful way to think of it. And the incredible thing is that the Bible tells us God has shown his love to people who treated him this way. To people who didn't want him to rule over them, to a people who didn't love him, to a people who have gone their own way. God has shown his love to people who hated him, who have ignored him and even to people who wanted him dead. In fact he died instead of us for all the times we've not treated God as God.
His love brings us into a permanent relationship that not even death can separate, his love is perfect and is always for our good (Romans 8:28). So whether you are in a happy relationship now, or longing for one, grieving a loved one or in a relationship that feels like the love has gone out of it, please be encouraged that for those trusting in Jesus we are loved for eternity by a God who has gone to extraordinary lengths to show it.