We might as well address it, because all of us know it’s coming. Another heart-shaped tidal wave is headed our way, and in a few days, we’ll be inundated with another Hallmark-induced, chocolate-infused, and virtually inescapable Valentine’s Day lovefest. Except for the youngest and most inexperienced among us, guys know that when it comes to love, there are risks involved, in light of which, I am compelled once again this year to do my best to help prepare you avoid disappointment.
It’s a Risky Business ~
We always like to approach important decisions with a clear idea of what could go wrong. Our desire always is to have some kind of guarantee that we’ve made the right choice, but when it comes to love, we don’t get the kind of disclaimers we get in other places, like with medical treatment, for instance. Prior to having any kind of surgical procedure, someone dressed in scrubs and looking very “medical” will unveil a whole list of unplanned stuff that could happen to you. They try to be thorough, but there’s no way they can cover it all. There are just too many unpredictable possibilities, as you may have noticed, is validated by all those medical shows on TV. Bizarre things happen to patients in those TV hospitals all the time, and where do you think they get the ideas for those shows? They get them from the awful stuff that happens to unsuspecting people like you and me. And who knows? Your gallbladder could harbor the seed plot for their next three episodes!
Think about it. Unbeknownst to you, prior to coming to work, your surgeon could have been rubbing noses and exchanging lizard kisses with a pet reptile that he imported illegally from Indonesia. Then, in the midst of your procedure, he could get an uncontrollable tickle in his sinuses and sneeze so hard that he blows his face mask clean off. Then, before anyone could react, he could be dripping mucus, laden with lizard-germs into that hole he made in your stomach. And there you are, just lying there totally helpless, with disgusting little Indonesian lizard germs running around creating havoc in that area where all your important guts live. The only hope left for you in a case like that is that the guy they get to play your part on the medical TV show will be much better looking than you ever were.
No Guarantees ~
The real world we live in proves over and over again that life is risky, and real guarantees are hard to come by. And if life itself is haunted by unplanned twists and turns, love seems at times to be even more so. The bizarre and unpredictable things that happen in the physical realm pale in comparison to those that unfold in the realm of human hearts. Both the longing for love that produces a “happily ever after” and the list of excuses for why it didn’t happen seem endless.
Valentine’s Day highlights our paradoxical relationship with love. It focuses on the idyllic romance associated with the kind of love that most of us fantasize about. It’s the love that all of us want, the love that produces relationships that overcome every challenge, defy every threat, defeat every enemy, and proves itself invincible against all of life’s unpredictable vicissitudes. Unfortunately, the real world weaves a different tale. Just as we manage to taint what God designed for us in other ways, we infect our capacity to love as well. The flaws we were born with as fallen human beings find their way into our love life and turn what God meant to be our most exhilarating, uplifting experience into something inexpressibly painful. If a perfect love exists, it has to come from a source outside us.
A Flawless Source ~
Thankfully, the desire for perfect love and the relationships it displays didn’t originate in the selfish minds and hard hearts of God’s flawed creatures. It originated in God Himself. After witnessing man’s failure in every dispensation to love as He commanded, God sent the ultimate resolution. God “so loved” this flawed, broken, hopeless world “that He gave His only begotten Son” John 3:16 (NKJV). God clothed Himself in human skin and proceeded to demonstrate what love really looks like. The love God offers us is invincible and eternal. It has a performance guarantee that the Apostle Paul described this way:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 (NKJV)
The risk for most of us guys on Valentine’s Day is that we might get the wrong gift, or present it at the wrong time, or forget to do anything at all. But the real tragedy would be if we missed out on the only love with a rock solid guarantee that it will last forever and never fail. The world is full of counterfeits for the love that God ordained, and they can be enticing and appealing. The problem is that they are only supported by the transient desires and unpredictable whims of our fallen nature. The only guarantee they offer is the guarantee that unanticipated things will happen that will severely affect them. Failure to some degree is unavoidable when God’s design is violated.
God’s love is different. There is no risk of failure in the love He offers, and it produces the greatest happy ending we could ever imagine. But there’s another incredible benefit. The love God offers isn’t limited to our relationship with Him. Because it is “in Christ Jesus,” when He is “in” us, God’s love infuses its transforming characteristics into every relationship we have. Now that’s a love worth celebrating . . . so here’s to a “truly” Happy Valentine’s Day to my wonderful Gallagher’s Pen family of readers!
“TWEETABLES” ~ Click to Tweet & Share from the pull quotes below. Each quote links directly back to this article through Twitter.
- “Valentine’s Day – supposedly the love that all of us want, the love that produces relationships that overcome every challenge, defy every threat, defeat every enemy, and proves itself invincible against all of life’s unpredictable vicissitudes.” GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “If a perfect love exists, it has to come from a source outside us . . . It originated in God Himself.” Gallagher’s Pen (Click here to Tweet)
- “After witnessing man’s failure in every dispensation to love as He commanded, God sent the ultimate resolution. God “so loved” this flawed, broken, hopeless world “that He gave His only begotten Son” John 3:16 (NKJV).” Gallagher’s Pen (Click here to Tweet)
- “God clothed Himself in human skin and proceeded to demonstrate what love really looks like. The love God offers us is invincible and eternal. It has a performance guarantee that the Apostle Paul described this way (Romans 8:35-39).” Gallagher’s Pen (Click here to Tweet)
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