I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. Genesis 2:3
Suppose my girlfriend told me this Valentine’s day that she wanted pink roses. I may not be the brightest Romeo in the world, but I know better than to go to the flower shop, thinking, “a rose is a rose and all roses are alike, I will just pick one. Let’s see, everyone else is getting red roses, so since it doesn’t really make any difference I will just get her a red rose. I know she asked for pink but what difference does it make?” If I love my girlfriend I will get her the color rose she specifically mentioned. Likewise, if I really love God, I will observe the Sabbath day that He mentioned, and not just say, after He mentioned the seventh-day, that it really doesn’t matter.
Speaking of God and Valentine’s day, you know how I know that God is really love? Because He looks out for our needs instead of just thinking about Himself in our relationship with Him. If you are in a romantic relationship, or any other relationship for that matter, with a person who isolates you from your family and friends, you can be sure this is not love. It is a psychopath! Only psychopaths try to isolate you from others. Notice what God says in Genesis 2:18, “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” God could have said, “I am God and I am all that Adam needs.” But that would not be a God of love. That would be a psychopath. Even God realizes He is not all that we need! God realizes we need a community, so God creates Eve so that Adam can have a help meet, but even beyond that, Adam and Eve can now create a community. God encourages us in Hebrews 10 to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. God is love. He is healthy and not a psycho-ego maniac. If God understands that He is not all we need, but that we also need a community, then shouldn’t we all realize that in order to be healthy, we need to be a part of a church and community, and not live our lives as hermits? Also, shouldn’t we realize too, that our loved ones need space and time with other friends too? If our relationships are truly healthy, and motivated by love instead of ego, we will not be smothering or isolating our loved ones from others. Healthy couples and healthy families are active in their church and communities and are not jealous when the other member in the relationship has friends. If you are involved with someone who thinks they are all you need, and isolating you from family and friends, then they are really messed up, thinking they are even greater than God. Not even God thinks He is all you need.
A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
Today is Valentines Day. (Dude! I so hope I am not the first one to tell you this just now.) This is the day that husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends all get gifts and flowers for each other and go out and spend quiet romantic evenings together while the rest of us are just glad we are not “in a relationship” so we can save all that flower and romantic evening money and spend it on golf or whatever we want.
However this Valentines Day I too am in a relationship. Um, several actually. Let me share with you.
First I am in a relationship with Jesus. It has been going great for me but not too sure about Him. I mean He has done so much for me and I have done so little for Him. Our relationship has survived decades now simply because He is so accepting and forgiving. While I often make mistakes, He will do something wonderful in my life and make it look like it was me doing it but actually it was Him. Actually He is the only good thing going on in my life. Because of Him there has never been a day of my life that I have not been loved. He actually loves me to death-literally! I love Him more each and every day as I read His letters and see His love in nature.
I am also in a relationship with my family. We stay so close it is hard to believe how far apart we all live. We are always there for each other. I am proud of my parents. They are known for their integrity and willingness to help others. They know what it means to sacrifice for others and for me. My sister and her family have sacrificed for me too. I am very proud of them too. They all love me and just like Jesus my relationship with my family has endured decades just because they are so accepting and forgiving.
I have been in a relationship for sometime with all friends. I would like to mention names but don’t want to hurt anyone by leaving them out. So let me put it this way. Thanks to the friends who believed in me even when I did not believe in myself. Thanks to the friends who listen to me talk about myself all evening before it finally dawns on me that I made the evening all about me. Thanks to the friends who sent me money from Texas to fix my car even though I told them I had no clue when and if I could every pay them back. Thanks for meeting me on the side of the highway in the middle of the night when my car broke down. Thanks for never reminding me that you had to get up early the next morning to go to work. Thanks to my friends who spent their whole vacation helping me move from Texas to Florida. Thanks to my friends who tell me what I need to hear and not just what I want to hear. Thanks for inviting me to your homes for holidays and making me feel like family. Thanks for telling me to visit anytime and I don’t need to call. Thanks for forgetting all the stupid things I have done and said treating me like a king. My friendships have endured because my friends are so accepting and forgiving.
This Valentine’s Day I want to celebrate all the relationships I am in. I am thankful for each and every one. There are many important things to any kind of a relationship, but what I see in all my relationships from Jesus to my friends is their acceptance and forgiveness.
So this Valentine’s Day if anyone asks, yes! I am in a relationship-many!