A Valentine For the Lonely

No one will ever love you like Jesus does.

You were made to be cherished, and you are.  From the moment your parent’s cells fused together to become you, it was love at first sight.  God cradled you, hushed in the warmth of your mother’s womb, and crafted you with infinite care.  For months, it was His eyes only that softened at the very sight of you, weaving your DNA into a symmetrical double helix formation and imprinting bold and beautiful dreams into your newly beating heart.

And then the time came for you to be delivered, and whether you were welcomed or unwanted by your parents, all of heaven hushed as God kissed breath into your infant lungs.  Your tiny fists clenched as you wailed dissatisfaction, and you’ve never escaped that lingering taste of discontent.  You want more than this wild, beautiful, messy, dark, sin-splashed planet has to offer, because you were born for another world.

The gaping hole in your heart was made to turn you heavenward, and all the loneliness was meant to remind you that Christ was abandoned by His Father for a dark afternoon so that you need never be forsaken.  Tell me this: has anyone in your whole life completely, totally, and thoroughly known every crevice of you, and then unflinchingly died for you?  How about someone you’ve betrayed, ignored, and disrespected…what about then?  Jesus did.

Now I know, you want arms to hold you close, and someone to whisper sweet nothings in your ear, and there is nothing wrong with wanting any of thatWhen loneliness pushes hard and wounds grow scar tissue, feeling unlovable is easy.  The honest truth is that when we are stripped to our very core, we are unlovable, prickly, nasty, self centered people with a few nice streaks tossed in to pretty things up a little.  The good news of the Gospel is not that God loves the lovely, but that God loves sinners.

You and I may be unlovable, but we are not unloved.

If you trust only in the saving work of Jesus on the cross, then you are His forever.  No prettying up needed.  God loves you at your worst, and He is prepared to help you grow into the breathtaking image of His only Son.

There is good news for anyone feeling just a little bit lonely this Valentine’s Day.  Tender-loving is not some painful memory from the past, or some not-yet-realized dream for the future.  It’s your birth right as God’s beloved child.  The Almighty, brushing close to fill the hollow places, can be your love affair.  Jesus shouted it from a blood soaked hill, whispers it from every tissue-thin page of every Bible across the world, and sings it unblushingly loud from the stars in deepest space to the very molecules that comprise your every cell.  The earth still quivers with the power of that love.

You want an epic romance?

Brace yourself, because your Hero is perfect, strong, loving, understanding, and romantic.  And not only will He love you forever, He died to keep you for all time and eternity.  You are His cherished friend, His delight, His treasure.  You are His bride.  When He looks at you, it’s through the eyes of love, unstained by sin.

Don’t miss the message in all of this mess: Jesus will never, ever, not even for a second stop loving you.  He sees every last sinful, shredded piece of you, and He wants you anyway.

You’re not His last choice – you’re His first.

Real intimacy is about so much more than stripping clothes; it’s about stripping the pretense away and letting yourself touch and be touched in the deep places of your heart.  It’s about baring your soul and your skin and bearing his faults with gentleness.

Seven years married, and I’m still a baby to this true love stuff.

I can tell you that it’s worth it.  Loving him and being loved by him is hard work, but it’s worth it.  Sometimes it looks like fun and flirting, and sometimes it looks a whole lot like raw flesh touching a splintered cross and two sinners kneeling below.  Real love is his hand holding tight while you clench through the contractions, and yours holding him when life kicks him in the gut.  It’s laughing till you cry, and keeping promises because marriage isn’t just about you and him.

Marriage is a picture of the love that Christ has for the church.

This Valentine’s Day, don’t forget that Someone thought you were worth dying for.  Hold out for a man that loves you like Jesus does.

This first appeared on iBelieve.com on February 7, 2017

 

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