Who do you Love? A Love Letter to You...
It is the month of February, otherwise known (as I'm beginning to notice myself referring to it all the time) as the month of Lurrrve or Love, on account of February 14th, otherwise known as (go on say it...) Valentines Day.
As a singleton there can often be 3 ways (of course it had to be 3) of celebrating such a day:
It's just another day - you ignore it, the roses, cards, chocolates, red/pink/white illustrations, adverts, anything Valentines Day related - is subsequently blurred from your mind, and you look at everyone who celebrates it with disgust, bemoaning the #CapitalisticNature of what should just not be a non-recognised, recognised 'day' that we celebrate.
You turn it into (I feel like I'm at a karaoke session now...say it) Galentines Day, a love-fest filled day celebrated with you and your Single Gal Pals. Now the love-fest could be anti-love fest cue non-romantic/horror films, drinks of your choice and copious amounts of food, or proper love-fest cue rom-coms/tear jerkers, The Notebook, drinks of your choice and copious amounts of food. If we were able to venture beyond our houses for more than one social hour a day, this could actually be expressed with a night out/meal out/brunch out. Either way it's a day spent between you and your fellow Single gals. (Sidenote: This option is pretty much for the Ladies I guess, as I know of no other male equivalent twists on the word Valentines. Gents if you do have an equivalent let me know, I'm happy to include. If you also do call it Galentines Day because the G could also stand for Guys - I'm impressed.)
Or you dread this day. It reminds you that your still single, that you really want to be in a meaningful relationship that is on the pathway to marriage, and that hasn't occurred. That your surrounded by multiple friends, family, social media accounts, influencers and so forth that are in relationships, who may or may not be celebrating this day - as a choice/or in relation to the current Covid-19 Pandemic. At the end of the day, this day is not one of your favourites, you would rather ignore it but you can't and that hurts.
Now why you may wish or wish not to celebrate Valentines Day is completely up to you, it's not a day we're told to celebrate in the Bible so you go ahead and do you! But as this is coincidentally a month where Love is talked about, I decided to focus on that in any subsequent posts...for most likely the entire month.
I think it's too easy to write a post about God loving you - you know this. It's "old news"/the best news ever/but you know this, it doesn't fill the 'Where is my Marital Spouse?' hole you have in your heart. But I think there's a reason for that, because God loving you is common knowledge - that takes up the majority of your heart - but you loving Him first, that's why the 'Where is my Marital Spouse?' hole actually exists. We get so comfortable with God loving us and being there, that we forget we need to actively love Him back, by making sure we place Him as our First Love, our first priority. We need to actively remind ourselves that our wholeness, fulfilment, personal sense of value cannot - and should not - be placed in man i.e. another human being.
Jeremiah 17: 5, 7 states - Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord...Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. Placing a part of your personal satisfaction in another person simply means, part of my personal happiness is dependant on said person. Now this may be your future spouse, but you may be temporarily doing that with a family member, best friend, group of friends, group of random people you've never met i.e. followers, work, business, objects, lifestyle, goals. The list goes on. Your love isn't supposed to be placed in these things for you to be happy, your love is to be shown to these things but it needs to come from a source - God. Better yet it needs to come from an overflow, it's the excess love you have after giving all your love to the Father, to God who does love you, who will never let you down, who can be relied upon in any circumstance, who knows your beginning and your end, who knows all your deepest
(somewhat darkest at times) thoughts, who knows every single thing/sin/lie you've ever told, who has heard your cries, who knows your happy days, whose cheered you on, who answers prayers, whose listened to you who disciplines and nudges you from time to time - so you can get right back on the amazing path He has for you (Jeremiah 29:11), who has forgiven your sins on the account that, He sent his one and only Son to die for you in the first place, so one day you and Him can have the BEST TIME EVER in Heaven, for eternity, who by His Spirit is with you right now - as you read this. Yeah, that God.
God our Father, is who we need to be placing all of our satisfaction, not some, not the part left over (read that above paragraph again, and tell me you still want to give Him part of any satisfaction :-|) all of it. Jesus tells us so clearly in Matthew 22: 37-38 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. It's an all consuming love, because He is an all consuming God, that knows by us placing Him as our First Love, we then have excess to pass on to other people, to show other people because it's coming from an eternal source. When God isn't your First Love, your first priority, you don't have that excess love to then pass onto God. All your love is being placed in this, that or the other and that actually requires the kind of maintenance that doesn't enable overflow. Not to say that a relationship with God doesn't need maintenance, it does, but the difference is maintaining God as your First Love, your Number 1 priority in life, leads to so much more. Not only the ability to show his love, but the ability to add the word true before the following - happiness, contentment, fulfilment, joy, life, grace, value, glory, honour, power, satisfaction, purpose, understanding, resolve, faith, hope...love.
When you have God as your First Love and your building and establishing that knowledge, you being single isn't as big a concern as it should be. If you do desire marriage, then you see your singleness merely as the current state of your 'relationship status,' that in due course will change when you do meet your future spouse, but in the meantime doesn't have you worried, fearful or searching for fulfilment because, you're perfectly content in and with the Lord. It will come, you are making moves to do that, but you're not relying on that to provide you happiness, to be your antidote to Valentines blues, or any other relationship-related upset you find yourself in.
Now you may say Yes I know all of this that, Yes I believe that (which btw I'm not denying), but although you know and believe, how actively are you pursuing that? How actively are you placing God as your First Love, basically as first in your life?
Well I can advise how to address that, if you can put matters of the Kingdom (i.e. matters relating to growing in faith, discipling, evangelising the Gospel, being and living in a Christ-like way, literally being citizens of God's heavenly Kingdom here on earth) second as a result of doing this, that and the other for anything else including trying to pursue a relationship, that's an indication that God really isn't first priority in your life, He hasn't got that top place as First Love. Pretty simply put, if you can drop things to
individually strengthen and grow your faith, whether that be personal devotion, going to Church, attending weekly Bible activities, connecting with other Christians, sharing the word of God, praying, worshipping (to name a few), in pursuit of a relationship, that's an indication you need to work on what you consider the top priority in your life. Think about all you desire in a relationship and if you don't desire that, and have that with God first, that's a strong indication of who gets the spot of First Love in your life.
How you build a relationship with God, is how you would build an average relationship with a person, however the difference of God v person is fulfilment. When you put God first as your First Love, when he the top priority (not sharing the pedestal with anyone else), you will notice a difference in how you feel, think, or treat God. If you know people who are in relationships who have never done that, I would question whether they truly knew how to love God with all their heart, soul and mind, before they met their future spouse. As most likely the place for God has been given to their spouse, or another goal/achievement they are looking to gain in life. You being single is a time to work on not doing that. If you don't understand or accept God as your First Love, then to be honest your not ready to be in a relationship, as that person you are in a relationship with will take that Number 1 spot that is meant for God - they will become your First Love. Being fulfilled in God needs to be your priority, as working on that will put you in a better, stronger position spiritually when it comes to your future spouse. You won't be desiring they fulfil all your needs, relying on them being in your life to make you happy, you'll be giving them that love overflow ;-) - God First, them second.
This year Valentines Day falls on Sunday - rather apt I think, as I treat Sunday as the Lord's Day and I will be taking a whole new approach to the day. In the past, my Dad used to buy me a card, fake rose, and chocolates/Tesco orientated present (he once brought me a room diffuser, it was shaped like perfume so I really do believe he thought it was perfume *sigh*) but when it comes to my Dad it really is the thought that counts. I will probably get my Dad to buy me a card, fake rose and a gift of his choice because I kind of like this cute tradition he started, and then I forced to continue, what can I say? Daddy & Daughter traditions are loveable. But bar the anticipatory presents, I want to make my day with God memorable, I have no idea how yet, but I want it to be reflective of how I see Him in my life, how I view Him as my First Love, how after all these years I can finally say 'It's Me and You Lord (for now), and I'm not ok with that, I Love it - Cheers to You Lord, Love you lots x'.
Deuteronomy 6: 4-6 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
Love You reading this Too!
Lou (Your very Chatty Sister in Christ)