Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! You probably knew that with all the pink and red lining the store shelves, the heart-covered web banners you may have run across, or the unending flower shop ads begging your attention. If you were to ask someone to describe Valentine’s Day in one word, one of the top answers would surely be “love.” That is such an amazing word. So popular in our vocabulary and yet so deep and rich in meaning. I remember growing up and hearing stories about being “in love” and people talking about “falling in love” — it was all so thrilling.
I found my forever “Valentine” . . . Erin Bates. I knew I didn’t deserve her then, and now after nine years of marriage, I know that I don’t deserve her. Through these short years, I have learned an important truth about love that may sound trite to you. But recognizing this truth about love is humbling and fills my heart with gratitude and awe for my sweet Erin.
The Truth: LOVE is a CHOICE.
Erin knows me much better than she knew me when we first were married . . . the good, the bad, the ugly. She didn’t know entirely what she was getting . . . but she loved me so much that she graciously looked past my faults and was willing to step out in faith and take a risk by saying, “I Do.” That was years ago, and her love for me has only grown.
I wish I could say that it was because of my performance or that I was just an amazing guy that exceeded all expectations — it wasn’t. No, her love for me grew because she CHOSE to love me despite my flaws and weaknesses. She chose to LOVE me even when I was unlovable. I know myself and what she has to put up with . . . and her love for me blows my mind. Wow!
I share this with you for two reasons:
1. Recognize that God chose to love you & me
In Romans 5:6–8, it states:
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
There is no greater love than when someone lays down their life for another. (See John 15:13.) God knows me better than anyone else — He knows the thoughts and intents of my very heart! Yet He has chosen to reach out in love, sending His only Son to die in my place. It’s unimaginable!
2. Recognize that others chose to love you & me
Reach out to those who have loved you and tell them how much that means. When I place myself in Erin’s shoes, I quickly realize how much I have to be thankful for!! Tell someone you love them. Choose to love others as Christ did, and don’t forget how much God loves you.
her fella (Chad)