I always love when February comes around because there often is a shift in the atmosphere. People focus on serving, loving and forgiving. While society has highly commercialized and capitalized on Valentine’s Day, where people spend 11 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day!
(I know, crazy, right?)
I still love the fact that people focus on loving during this month. I won’t mention that often after February 14th, many revert back to their old ways and go on as usual, because that’s not the point. Hmmm…but maybe it should be.
Many people believe that love is a feeling. As a marriage coach and relationship mentor, I can’t begin to tell you how often I have heard the response to my question, “Why do you want to get married? And what makes you think you will stay married…til death do you part?” 9 times out of 10, the couple says because we LOVE each other and our LOVE for each other will most definitely keep us together. But then, 2 years, 10 years, 20+ years into their marriage, they can’t stand each other and are running to the divorce court.
It’s because they understand love to be a feeling! I get it. Unconditional love, all-consuming love, love that you don’t earn, just receive is hard to understand and often harder to explain. Since we can’t really explain THAT type of love, we have to downsize the concept of this type of love into something we understand, and that’s a feeling.
Stay with me…
Our first love gave us this unconditional, all-consuming, don’t have to do, prove or convince, just receive type of love to provide the standard and set the bar, so to speak of what LOVE looks like. And in our own logical minds, we have reduced the standard of love that He meant for us to experience, into something we comprehend and understand, which has resulted in experiencing counterfeit love.
Well, this Valentine’s Day, I want to encourage you, and even challenge you to RESET your LOVE BAR. I want to challenge you to reprogram your thoughts and beliefs about love. Most of us have been given our definition of love from our parents, siblings, teachers or team coaches. And love has been defined for many of you as hurtful, angry, unreliable or untrustworthy, just to name a few. Then you adopted this idea of love, made it your definition and have journeyed through life with the definition of love being something that it’s NOT!
God created you because of His great LOVE for you! He loves you unconditionally, every piece of you and you don’t have to do anything to earn it, all you have to do is just receive it! I remember what life used to look like for me when I believed that LOVE was just a feeling. I was a chronic people-pleaser, perfectionist and overwhelmed myself all of the time with the pressure that comes from searching for love from people and circumstances that couldn’t give me what I was searching for.
Who do you know who wants to experience the type of love that tells you to stop beating yourself up when you yelled at your kids, because you were angry at your husband; that love that comforts you when your heart feels broken with disappointment because you can’t bear to be single…one more year. Or that love that keeps pouring out in spite of some of your choices that result in guilt, shame or failure.
If this is you, here is your LOVE challenge this week, as we head into Valentine’s Day.
1. RESET your LOVE BAR by focusing on your first love. Spend time in the presence of God daily through worship.
2. RENEW your relationship with God by sharing your heart with Him. Confess your regret and make the decision to start new behaviors and practices in your life immediately.
3. REMEMBER the times when your heart was joyful. Where were you? What were you doing? Who were you with? It's time to get that back.
4. REIGNITE your passion for what moves you! What is the one thing that makes you come alive? What should you be doing daily, that has been pushed to the back burner?
5. RESPOND with action! Be still and begin listening again to God’s voice for direction and guidance. Then, follow through!
Christy Little Jones is a motivational speaker, professional encourager and relationship mentor to women and couples all over the world. She teaches people how to fall madly in love with themselves by establishing a relationship with God, making integrity based decisions and developing the courage to express themselves authentically. Connect with Christy at www.mrschristyjones.com.