Love

Every year on Valentine’s Day, we lay out four boxes of chocolates. This year, there lay only three. What I would give to love on my eldest son today; to hold him and for him to hold me. 

Christiano was just over a week old on his first Valentine’s Day, and I remember being so in love for the very first time. I hear a lot of people say that newborns don’t have anything to offer us because they’re helpless; that the relationship is one sided for awhile. But, I never felt that way about Christiano. He brought me so much from the very start. He brought me warmth and light, he brought me purpose and promise, he brought me hope and love. Love with no limitations or conditions. Just love – in the purest form. I had never know this kind of love before becoming a mother. It is a love that causes me to protect at all costs and to nurture without boundaries; a love that has beckoned me over and over again to sacrifice anything and everything for my child; to lay my very life down if I could. Oh, how I wish I could do all of those things and more. How I wish I could have protected Christiano – to have laid my life down so that he could be the one standing here today. I would trade places with him in a heartbeat. But, you see, I cannot. I cannot because I am not capable, nor am I his Savior.

 As much as we long to protect our children and our loved ones from ever experiencing harm, we cannot. This world is a cold and dark place, and we are warned that we will have trouble in it.  But, take heart, there is One who has overcome this world – One who wins in the end. (John 16:33) And, He is the One who did stand in our place, by laying His life down for all of mankind. For you, for me, and for Christiano. His name is Jesus, and He ransomed His life to save ours; to give us eternal life; to bring us to a place with no more suffering, no more pain, no more fear, and no more tears. A place of perfect peace, where we can be with our Father forever. A place of perfect love that covers us and casts out fear. 
John 3:16-17 says, 
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 
We long to express love to those who matter most to us, and we desire to be loved in return. We may even desire to receive love more that we long to give it out. Some may think that is selfish, but if you think about it, it is perfectly natural. The reason Christiano was my first love is because I received love from him right away. Pure and unconditional love, that had not yet been corrupted by the thoughts and attitudes that world gives. Only after receiving that love, could I fully give it to him in return. Unfortunately, it isn’t long before love gets corrupted by our own desires and lusts of the flesh. We all fall short of loving on our own. We can’t do it apart from God. So, it isn’t until we RECEIVE the true love that God has already offered to us by giving up His only Son, that we can give true love. That’s when we can experience and bask in the real and authentic love of God. And, who wouldn’t want authentic love? Especially on Valentine’s Day. 
I hope each one of you know how deeply loved and pursued you are by this loving God.  He will never fail you, He will never forget you, and He will never give up on you. He wants you to be His valentine above all others. Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. 

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