The Loves of My Life

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Today is Valentine’s Day and I have been thinking about the “loves” of my life.

My first thought goes to my wife, Julie.  We have been married for 20 years and have been celebrating Valentine’s Day together since I was 20 and she was 18 (there is one exception in there while we were dating when I broke up with her the week before Valentine’s Day, but we won’t talk about that here:)

Julie is the love of my life and Valentine’s Day becomes just another day to tell her (again) that I have always loved her and I always will.

My mind moves very quickly to my daughter Madison.  She is an amazing, beautiful, young lady who is growing and maturing and falling in love with Jesus more and more each day.  It was with joy and a smile that I snuck up to her room this morning and slipped a Valentine’s card under her door to greet her on this Valentine’s Day 2013.

My mind moves next to my boys.  Garrett and Grayson.  They are like book ends.  Both solid and both so different.  I love these young men.  I prayed with them and for them this morning before they left for school and I told them with words, “I love you.”  This is something I do a lot with my boys.  Tell them I love them.  To their face so they can hear me.  It may not seem on the surface like a “manly” thing, but I believe it is a very important and godly thing.  For my men to hear me, their father, say that I love them.

And then, there was someone new that flooded my mind this Valentine’s Day.  A little girl in Colombia.  A little girl who is eight years old who’s picture and name I am dying to share with everyone but cannot because we have not yet received “official” word that she is ours.  But in my heart I believe she is mine and I am hers.  She is my daughter, and yes, I love her.  I love her with all my hear and can’t wait to look her in the eyes, take her in my arms and say in her Spanish language, “Te Amo.”

These are the loves of my life.  Yes, there are many more.  My parents.  My sister and her tribe of girls.  My brothers and other nieces and nephews.  I love them all.  My family.  Blood and adopted.

And it has struck me today that I love because I am loved. “For God so loved…”  That is really where it starts isn’t it?  All love flows from the Throne of Love in heaven to earth.

What makes love so wonderful and special is that it is always and necessarily by choice.  Love is not automatic and it is certainly not an emotion.  Love is a choice.  Love doesn’t just happen.  You have to make it happen.  Remember that not just today, but everyday that is NOT Valentine’s Day.  Remember you must choose to love your wife/husband even when you don’t feel it.

I say all of this because this is what God has done for each and everyone of us.  God chose to love.  It was not automatic and it was not an emotion.  God had every reason to not love us.  We have rejected Him.  His rule and authority in our lives and on our planet.

But God chose to love anyway.

And that choice led to an action.

And that action changed everything.

Jesus came and died.

Because he loves….

Yes, Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.

 

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