It’s impossible to escape Valentine’s Day. Like it or not, whether you’re married, single or somewhere in between, like Mondays, it comes around eventually for better or worse.
While I don’t necessarily love Valentine’s Day, I do love loving people. I’m the person who sends random cards or buy someone a present because I was thinking of them. I go to plays, and concerts, and events that my people are involved in because I think rooting for each other is about the best thing we can do. I call to check in even when I don’t have much to say. I am grateful for the people who grace the pages of my life story, and I don’t think ” I love yous” should be reserved for ONE day in February when we feel obligated to say it…and also…it’s just COLD in February so I feel like everyone a little bit bitter, and no one wants a cranky, forced “I love you.”
“I love yous” should be given out freely and as often as possible.
One of the most beautiful things in this world is the bond you share with another person. Whether it’s your mom, your spouse, your best friend or your children, it’s special and rare and God put those people in your life to support you, to hold you up, and to see you though this messy life.
I’m acutely aware of how much goodness and love the people in my life radiate. I’m grateful for the love the show me. So I want to take the opportunity to tell them how much I love and appreciate them as often as possible.
I am also so aware that there are so many people in this world who have not known love like I have. There are 21-36 million people who are caught in a life of slavery and violence. There are 153 million children from babies to teenagers who are orphans. So many people who don’t know that love doesn’t have to painful or earned.
I want to challenge all of us to love the people in our lives well. Call them. Root for them. See them in person. Let them know they matter in the way they will most appreciate it ( Oh hey, 5 Love Languages!.). Say “I love you” as often as possible. let the people who make this world feel like home know they are appreciated.
I also would love to challenge us to find away to love the people outside our immediate circles as well. Pray for them, Volunteer in your community. Pay for someone’s gas or coffee. Do something, even if it’s small because love will change the world.
We have some great ways to love people coming up! Our February GOment in Woodbury is taking gently used clothing and other linens for The Dwelling Place, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. In April, International Justice Mission is hosting the Global Prayer Gathering in Washington DC. There are a ton of local organizations that need volunteers. Find opportunities in our GO catalog, here.
No act of love is ever a waste of time. God loves us so much he sent Jesus, and Jesus loved the world so much that he now sends us to love everyone. Let’s really be the type of people that love hard and freely, the way Jesus calls us to.