Friday, February 12, 2010

Unconditional Love

As Valentine's Day approaches, subliminal advertisements and decorations hint at that time of year when couples seem to amazingly fall in love. We see it everywhere: cupid with his arrow, red and pink hearts that are perfectly shaped, roses and chocolate. Oh, and it wouldn't quite be the "season of passion" until we see those little boxes of conversation hearts that hold tiny messages for those with special cruches. Commercials remind men they need to show the woman in their life how much they care. How else but by buying her a diamond?

Valentine's day is a perfect opportunity to express to others how much we care and love them, but do we define love as that which we can put in a nice and neatly wrapped little box? My fear is that this whole hype is one big fantasy, one displayed in almost every romantic movie, and that those who begin to believe this is what love is, are setting themselves up for a big disappointment. What happens when we take off the beautiful packaging?

Let's take this into the realm of our spirits. What's inside? Do we care enough to ask ourselves this question? We could ask ourselves this: "How do I compromise myself for love?" Is it possible to answer this question without removing the layers of our self-protection and thus becoming vulnerable? In being vulnerable, isn't there also possibility for intimacy, the first step in developing love with another person?

When we compromise ourselves in order to gain someone's respect or affection, aren't our motives based on ourselves and our needs? If our focus is on our needs, then how can we love our neighbor? Haven't we strayed from the true essence of love? The only example of true love is God's love for us, agape, unconditional love. There is nothing nice and neat about Jesus' sacrifice, God's demonstration of his love for us.

May we fully receive His precious love for us! Happy Valentine's Day!

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