My perspective of valentine’s day has changed and evolved quite a bit in the past year. What was once a rather unimportant day in the year when I was reminded of how fake and superficial our culture’s take on love seems to be, has become a day of deep joy and reflection. The past year and a half of being newly married has really given me a glimpse of the power and centrality of love in life.
Rather than bashing on how this day is a reminder of the many shallow relationships and misconceptions of love, I am excited to celebrate and exalt this wonderful thing called love, and think about its implications for the rest of life.
I think it’s important to point out that love is a necessity to every human heart. We cannot live and flourish if we are not loved. Those who grow up in broken families and homes know first hand how crippling a love-less environment is to the human soul. Having spent the last 4 years working in healthcare, I have seen ample evidence of this.
Where does this longing to love come from? There really is no naturalistic explanation for it. There is no way to measure love or its origin. Indeed, someone will be quick argue the evolutionary perspective that love is a mere biologic mechanism that fosters survival and reproduction. But do we really believe that? If we give it some honest consideration, I think it speaks for itself. Being as fundamental to life as it is, we have no way to prove or experiment our way out of the question.
But how can we live with this major aspect of our lives without having any explanation or basis for it? We can’t, unless we pretend the question doesn’t exist.
To me, love seems to point once again to the inevitability of the fact that some of the most foundational aspects of our life and world span far beyond the confine of our logic or ability to measure. It is beyond us, and yet it is so central to us.
If we agree that love is real, despite the fact that it has no scientific or measurable basis, then we must also agree with the fact that love has its foundation and roots in something that is far beyond our senses. And that something is very real since love is very real. Actually, that something must be a someone… actually someones – since love always involves individuals or persons.
Love is a God who is perfectly balanced and bound within himself. A God of three persons in one essence, perfectly united, perfectly selfless, delighting in one anther’s presence. Love is a God who sends the one who is most precious to him to rescue others. Love is a God who sacrifices himself for the glory of the other. Love is the God of the Gospel story.
Sure, I am biased to see everything as matching to my Christian lens and making it make sense some how. But when it comes to love I really can’t think of any other lens that can make any sense of it. Can you?
Understanding the basis of love in life unleashes its full potential in us. I am delighted to celebrate the reality of love in life today. More than that, I am delighted to know the One who has taught me all about it.