With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, one can’t help but be a little distracted by the colors red and pink, candy hearts, chocolate, flowers and thoughts of the perfect Valentine. All of us come to Valentine’s Day with a different perspective on love. Maybe you are the grown up child who never felt truly loved by your mom or dad, and you’ve spent your whole life trying to be good enough to be loved, seemingly always coming up a little short. As a result, you’ve become an over-achieving perfectionist as you strive to do everything right in an effort to feel loved. Or maybe you are the young woman who hasn’t found “Mr. Right” yet. You don’t feel beautiful enough or worthy enough, so in an effort to fill the empty place in your life, you escape into the fantasy world of movies and smutty books. These leave you feeling even emptier. As the heroine rides off into the sunset with her prince charming, you are left on the sofa with tissues in one hand and popcorn in the other. Or, are you in a marriage that feels as though it’s hanging on by a thread? You feel like you are your husband’s roommate rather than his helpmate? Maybe your love tank has been empty for so long, you’ve simply decided to give up. You’ve checked out emotionally. Or maybe you have a spouse struggling with some disorder, such as Alzheimer’s or cancer, and it’s greatly altered your relationship as you once knew it. All of these scenarios and more plague human hearts today.
In Song of Songs, we learn what it’s like to love and be loved. It depicts not only the ideal relationship between a man and woman from dating to marriage, but it gives us a picture of how God is the true Lover of our souls, and how He loves us as His beloved. For you girls who haven’t found your man yet and sometimes struggle with feeling pretty, take heart. This is normal. The girl, the beloved, in Song of Songs apologizes for her dark skin. She is self conscious of how dark she is from working in her family’s vineyards. Her lover reminds her of her beautiful cheeks (1:5-10). This is what our men should do, affirm us in our beauty. Unfortunately they are human and may forget or may need affirming as well. Later in 4:1-7, the beloved’s man builds her up and compliments her. This may have been the way it was in the beginning and somehow your marriage, as the song goes, has lost that lovin’ feelin.’ Whether you haven’t found him yet or whether you have and he’s let you down, chin up cause there’s One who will never let you down. The God of the universe takes delight in you and finds you beautiful every day of the week, no matter how you are feeling. He loves unconditionally and of course He sees you as beautiful, He created you. We are created in His image, and that is a beautiful thing!
Song of Songs also points out that “love is as strong as death….. It burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away” (vs.6-7). So, no matter how you might be feeling, what sickness you may face, or how imperfect you are, love….True Love….cannot be quenched. That fire cannot be snuffed out. Even death can’t change it. Death may come and separate us from our loved ones for a time, but it can’t change love or ever take it away. Love is as strong as death! “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39, NIV). You see, as believers in Jesus Christ, even death can’t quench, change, or separate us from God’s love.
So as True Love pursues you, pursue Him in return. Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love” (John 15:9). Then He went on to command us to love each other as He has loved us. He is the greatest Love of all loves. He’s the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us. He became our sacrifice through death on a cross, so that we could be forgiven of our sins and be in a right relationship with our heavenly Father. Paul wrote, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6).
So this Valentine’s Day, pursue Jesus wholeheartedly as your perfect Valentine and refrain from the expectation that anything earthly could possibly substitute or fulfill like a relationship with God. As you pursue Him first, waiting for your earthly man will become easier. “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). As we pursue God and find our satisfaction in Him, we won’t need to rely on our earthly loves to fulfill and give us our security and self worth. And through the difficulties, disease, a failing marriage, or even death, Jesus says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).