If Valentine’s Day Hurts

A Message to Parents in Pain

Valentine’s Day is this Tuesday. For parents in pain over the behaviors and troubles of their kids, it can be a hard day. I know. I’ve been there. I understand how it reminds you how much you love your child – and how much you’ve lost.

Valentine’s Day also reminds me of the greatest love of all. The love of  God and the love he has for all people.

Listen to what the Bible says about this love: “By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. BUT God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life . . .” (Eph. 2: 3b – 5b, NIV).

It’s spectacular. Indescribable. Marvelous.

I could go on and on listing superlative adjectives to describe how the above verses make me feel. I find great comfort here.

Without Christ, your child is an object of God’s anger; the focus of his wrath. Your son. Your daughter. They’re on their way to eternal doom. They’re in grave danger, headed for destruction,

BUT . . . God stepped in and did something most unexpected.

He changed everything.

He altered the potential landscape of their future. He changed the rules. He made a new ending possible. He transformed predictable outcomes for us mortals. He turned everything upside down – or right side up, that is. Why?

“Because of his great love . . .” the New Living Translation says.

It’s a pure and perfect love from the Father of all mankind, the Creator of the universe and everything in it. From the Holy One, Yahweh, Jehovah who was moved to take action on behalf of all who were dead in sin. Without hope. Lost.

God is love. This love is high and deep and wide and all-encompassing. If his love was an ocean, we’d drown in it. If it were a river, we’d be swept away. It’s flow is directed toward us and our children.

Because God is utterly, positively, ridiculously crazy about our kids—before they ever even existed—he did two things for them only he could do.

  1. He forgave them. They never asked for it. They could’ve cared less, yet he knew their need to be cleansed. To have a fresh start. (John 1:9)
  1. He gave them real life. Eternal life in Jesus and abundant life (John 10:10) for all their days on this earth, until they enter their heavenly rest, should they choose to follow him.

Two priceless gifts. Forgiveness and real life. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Before Valentine’s Day existed, God offered his heart with no strings attached. That’s better than any floral bouquet or box of chocolates. In essence he was saying, “Will you be my valentine?”

What a risky proposition. Yet, out of his great love, he offered it. He risked rejection and a repeatedly broken heart. He died on a cross to prove it.

I think the cross is the perfect symbol of love. It should be on more Valentine cards.

May our sons and daughters realize they’ll never find another love like this. One that knows their worst yet loves them the most. Fully aware of their faults and weaknesses, their dirty secrets and shamefulness, but won’t ever walk away.

A secure love.

A faithful love.

A forever love.

A divine, supernatural love.

 

Loving God,

Please bring about a breakthrough in __________’s heart. Allow your agape love to break through every barrier that has prevented them from responding to your offer of forgiveness and real life. May they find your love to be spectacular, indescribable, and marvelous–worth living and dying for. May their heart respond to your offer, “Yes, I’ll be yours.”

Pour on the love, Lord. Amen.

 

A book that helps us love our challenging children when they aren’t so lovable is:

Loving a Prodigal by H. Norman Wright.

 

 

 

 

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