Growing up I was a hopeless romantic and as a girl who didn’t have a boyfriend until college I HATED Valentine’s Day. In fact, I wore black on Valentine’s Day in high school! In my mind Valentine’s Day was the most perfect holiday when you were in love and it would be so romantic every single year when I found that perfect man for me.
Well this year was the 10th Valentine’s Day I have celebrated with my husband and besides the fact that we were in a tropical location, it was extremely low key. My husband was recovering from the stomach virus so we had a quick supper, watched Fixer Upper, and were in bed by 9:00 P.M. It wasn’t the flowers, gifts, or romance that I had a dreamed of as a young woman.
But, it was a wonderful day spent with the man that I love more and more every day. I have realized that Valentine’s Day doesn’t matter nearly as much as once thought it did. Love is a big deal every day because we choose to love. That’s right! We CHOOSE to love each other. We fell in love 10 years ago. It was fast and exciting and we knew we were meant to be very quickly. I was so head over heels in love! But a lot has happened over the last 10 years and that “falling in love feeling” doesn’t stay day in and day out. Because we are human and live in a sin filled world, we have bad moments and bad days. We have bed head and stinky breath. We get tired, cranky or just don’t agree.
Through it all though, we choose to love each other. Sometimes it is in the super romantic way or sometimes it is just through the routine of life but we make our love top priority. This is all possible because we love God and know that we made a commitment before God and others that we would choose love above everything else. As a Christian, God has commanded us to love others as ourselves.
John 15:17 This is my (Jesus) command: Love each other.
I have an adult step-daughter, a step-daughter that is a senior in high school, and a 5 year old little boy. They all have different personalities and none of their personalities are like mine. I have certainly had my moments of frustration and downright anger. Just getting out the door this morning was rough and lots of things were said out of frustration. We talk a lot in our family about the difference between love and like. They hear me say A LOT “I will always love you, but I don’t like what you are doing.” There may be cases that I won’t like the choices they make or even the person they are at that moment. I make it very clear though that I always CHOOSE to love them. My love for them will not change, waiver or fail. Love is a choice and a commitment we make every day and we need to make sure we show it. This goes for parents, spouses, siblings or friends. It is meant for those we only see on social media who we may or may not agree with or even those that are hard to love. It is a commandment by God that we choose to love everyone. God loves us with a love that we don’t deserve and we are to love others because of that.
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
How are you choosing to show love to those around you? 1 Corinthians 13 is a checklist of ways to show love to others. The Message Bible gives us this list: Love never gives up. Loves cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. In my marriage I choose to show love by never giving up, by wanting more for my husband than I want for myself, by looking for the best, and most of all trusting God. I know most of you are not married but you may be in a relationship that is headed that way or that serious relationship is just over the horizon. It may be that you are surrounded by people at school or at work or even spend most of your time with your parents or siblings. How are you choosing to show them love today in the good times and the bad? Remember God commands us to show love!
Written By: Heather
The sun shines down on my face, I walk steadily with my pup through my apartment complex. Children run and play, people pass me by I hold in my hand a beautiful wedding invitation. It’s absolutely gorgeous and elegant. I think to myself, man this is the third wedding in my family this year. I love weddings! I love celebrating love! As I load my pup into the car to head to the store my heart grows from excited for my cousin to a little voice in my head that says “Another wedding, another dateless wedding, you’re never going to find someone.” I turn up the radio to listen to some Britt Nicole and I go about my day.
Being in my mid-twenties and the last female cousin to not be married, I think it is normal to have those feelings. However, it becomes a problem when I start buying into the lies the enemy tries to tell me about being single. Singleness is definitely something that is not easy at times but when I think about my life I feel like I sometimes have put too much emphasis on the significance of having a significant other.
When it comes to who I am I am proud of who I have become. However, often times when people ask if I am dating someone a sense of shame comes over me when I reply no. Why is that? Why am I ashamed of not having a boyfriend or a husband? It is because somewhere I have bought into the lie that in order to have worth or to be accepted or liked more by others I need to be in a relationship. Our society puts so much pressure on us to date and we put so much pressure on ourselves as well. Ultimately God has a plan for everything I am going through singleness and all. He wants me to learn lessons, live life where I am at. If it’s in God’s will maybe I will get married but no matter what I have to know that my worth, and God’s love for me is not based on my relationship status. He loves me no matter what. My life is significant no matter if I ever get married or not.
As women, we all yearn for that great love story, but what we must remember is we are already apart of the greatest love story of all. We cannot fathom God’s love for us!
In Jeremiah 31:3 its say “I have loved you with an everlasting love”.
Did you read that? God loves you with an everlasting love! If that doesn’t make your heart flutter, I don’t know what will. We need to remember this. A boyfriend/husband is just an extra love, but God is our truest love. So if you have to attend another wedding by yourself, go to a work function, etc., know that God loves you more than anyone ever could.
Written By: Rebeccah
It’s no secret that love is a common theme throughout the month of February. Love is of God, and God is Love, so it’s a great thing to focus on. However, when it really comes down to it, I think some of us neglect putting time and effort into genuine loving relationships. Relationships—whether with friends, family, guys, or anyone—take time and effort to remain healthy and to grow. You must often lay aside your own comfort or convenience for the sake of others. I don’t know about you, but I find this really challenging sometimes. If I’m being honest, I have prioritized my planner and to-do list over people many times. I take a look at my completely inked-up planner and decide not to take that extra time to catch up with a friend I haven’t seen in a while, or help out a friend who needs a ride. I’ve always just considered myself hyper-productive. In our very individualistic, competitive world, it’s seen as a good thing. I do what I can to accomplish everything and receive the highest grades. However, this logic doesn’t fit into God’s plan. God’s kingdom is contrary to the world, and says to value people over tasks, others over ourselves, and love over productivity. When asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39, ESV). Did you catch that? Out of the entirety of scripture, God’s greatest two commandments for us are to love Him and love people.
God’s been teaching me this lesson for a couple months now through a couple specific relationships, as well as books I’ve read. I didn’t realize that I was changing at first, but now I see that focusing my time on relationships makes all the difference in the world. The to-do lists will never disappear, but given enough time apart the people will. The to-do lists will never deepen your relationship with Christ, but given enough time the right people will. Or maybe in your life the “to-do list” is a sport, a hobby, a job, or anything else that takes your focus off of loving people. Hear me sweet girl: anything that causes your life to reroute away from offering people love, time, and sacrifice is contrary to scripture. Christ came not to accomplish a set of tasks or be the best, but to love on the least of these. As his disciples it is our calling to love on the least of these, and the people placed immediately around you. It can be really, really tough to lay aside your own wants and cater to the wants and needs of others. But isn’t everything that offers true growth tough at times? The payoff of following God’s command to love others is truly worth it. In reality though, this command can also be fun to follow! Lay aside yourself and your to-do list and spend time with a friend. Talk deeply and see what’s going on in their life. Drive your sick friend to the doctor; bring coffee to a friend that’s having a hard day… just do something to invest in a relationship. Join me in this endeavor to learn to love people better, and watch to see how it changes your thinking and makes you more fulfilled than ever! In no time at all you’ll begin noticing countless ways to serve and love others, and when you start genuinely wanting to step into those voids, you know Christ is doing a great work in you!
Written By: Emily
Happy Love Month, Worth More Girls!
All month, I have been so grateful to be on the receiving end of Christ’s perfect love for me. His love is infinite, never abandons, always pulls through. Psalm 139, one of my favorite psalms, details of the intimate understanding and care that God has for us, His Daughters. The following is a letter from God to His beloved daughters, based on the verses in Psalm 139. I really encourage all of you to read Psalm 139 in supplication to this blog post. I love you all; Jesus’ love is never failing.
I know your thoughts; I know your heart; I know your worries. I made you. I see you. I understand you. I know you down to your core.
Not a day has gone by when I have not thought of you or cared for you. I have blazed the trail before you, in My perfect and mighty design. I will also trail behind you as your guide.
There is not a place you can go where I am unable to be reached. Even in a place of utter despair, I am with you. I am still calling your name when sin surrounds you. When your thoughts seem more like your enemies, when your reality seems more like your nightmares, when your worst fears seem more like a probability, I am still with you. I still reign; I am still King, King over the darkness, your darkness. My Love and My Presence will travel beyond the ends of the earth for you.
Do not be afraid; I am with you. You have given me your heart, and I hold it in My Hands.
Even on days when you bum at home, I am watching TV with you. When you travel to and from school—I’m guarding the car you drive. When you explore the wonders of My Creation, I eagerly await to take your breath away. Nature is my gift to you, beloved. When you study, I long to inspire you with the fascinating world I’ve created.
Your life has a purpose. Each day and each moment is seen by Me.
You are marvelous and precious in My Sight.
Written By: Laura
I used to think that I needed to fit a mold to become someone’s girlfriend, but now I know that it is better to be who God made me.
When I was told that the theme for this month was relationships, I was perplexed. Being the girl who has never been in a relationship, yet oddly good at giving relationship advice, I figured that I could write about the importance of balancing your different relationships. Then I thought that singleness would make a good topic, but all I really have to say about that is that I’m twenty and comfortable being alone. I even thought about making a joke about the reality that I am the “Left Shark” of my friend group, but Jesus still loves me despite that. I then realized that I had a predisposition about what it looks like to be “girlfriend material,” and I was compelled to implore you, dear girl, to not sacrifice who you are for the hope of one day having a boyfriend.
I had a list of adjectives that I thought made people more “qualified” or “attractive” to the opposite sex while my quirks and preferences were items to be marked against me. I’m not super extraverted, and I usually end up fumbling over my words and looking awkward. I compliment strangers when I think they look cute, and it usually catches them off guard and shocks them. I’m way too passionate about California being the greatest state in the US, and I am the least athletic person you will ever meet. I don’t do my makeup well, and I talk about human trafficking frequently.
I had it in my mind that these were attributes that I needed to change about myself because I didn’t fit the “girlfriend” mold. I was less desirable. But the reality is, these personality traits are okay. In fact, they make me who I am, and it is better to wait for someone who likes the girl who oddly resembles “Left Shark” than to date somebody who likes my façade. A healthy relationship is one where you can date your best friend. It is a relationship where you can be painfully honest about who you are as your partner challenges you to be best version of yourself, a person who resembles Christ. Ladies, you want to be with the person who not only accepts your quirks, but likes your quirks. You want to be with someone who you can be yourself with. God made me the way that I am, and it would be a shame if I were to spit upon the woman that He made me for another person.
God did not make me to fit somebody’s mold for the perfect woman; he made me to fit his mold of holiness. He made me to pursue righteousness above all else. He made me to pursue a life that reflects his heart. He made me to long for his love before I long for the love of another person.
Ladies, be yourself. If your significant other is imploring you to change your sin pattern, then change, but never give up your God given callings and your passions for the hope that somebody will give you five minutes of attention. Be who God made you to be because you will be content in the life that God has called you to; you will not be content living a life of facades and self-denial. You want the man who will delight in who God has made you, not the boy who wants the girl you pretend to be.
So, be left shark and revel in the woman that God is molding you to be. You might just like the girl you see in the mirror.
Written By: Tara