It’s the day after Valentine’s day, all the low quality chocolate in America is 75% off, and a large percentage of men and women everywhere woke up this morning feeling either blissfully loved, or empty, bitter, and alone; based on how yesterday’s events went for them.
Yesterday, my news feeds were overflowing with photos of happy couples, cheesy declarations of love, snapshots of red roses, and tiny jewelry boxes. I’m not gonna lie, I loved it. I’m one of those Valentine’s Day FREAKS. I love February 14th! Always have. Almost as much as Christmas. I’m a love-nerd. Even before I ever had a boyfriend, my dad would give us roses and chocolate and to this day we have always had a Valentine’s party with my Grandparents where the only possible way to leave is in a sugar coma.
Its really just a fun day to celebrate love! Why wouldn’t I take part in that?! Plus there’s a LOT of pink. BUT it’s so easy to get caught up in the celebrating, and instead of multiplying our joy, we often find ourselves comparing our own relationships to the one-dimensional social media versions of others.
Maybe your husband bought you a gorgeous bouquet of flowers AND sang your praises on Instagram yesterday, but only because you made sure to remind him that he should, therefore taking the value away from his actions.
Maybe you were single for Valentine’s Day, again. All your friends are engaged, married, and having babies, and you’re starting to believe all those voices in your head that tell you you’ll be alone forever.
Maybe you do have someone special and they completely forgot, and you shrugged it off saying it’s just a stupid Hallmark holiday anyway, trying to bury the signs of disappointment, but you spent the evening scrolling through Facebook looking at all the highlight reels of happy couples you know, making assumptions about how their relationship is probably better than yours, when you have no idea what they really are facing.
Maybe none of these examples are relatable to you, but I feel like it’s so easy for us to fall into this comparison trap, especially on days like Valentine’s Day. I know I sure am guilty of it. All of these have been me at some point. And I’ve fallen into the trap of comparison on countless other occasions, too.
Valentine’s Day, relationships, love, marriage – these are all GOOD things. But Satan tries to warp them and use them against us whenever he can. His lies stoop low, and he cuts deep, to the very core of where your insecurities stem from. He constantly tries to warp and twist and tangle our definition of LOVE.
He’ll tell you that if you’re alone, it’s because you are worthless, and not enough. That no one will ever truly love you.
If you’re married, he’ll say that your spouse doesn’t love you, and, in fact, you should go flirt with that co-worker who “gets you” better than your spouse does.
As you’re scrolling through social media, he’ll whisper lies about how your life isn’t good enough and try fill you with envy… He’ll try and convince you, without fail, that God doesn’t love you… if He did, your life wouldn’t be so hard.
No matter what point we are at in our lives, whether we have nothing or we have plenty, we will never be past the temptation to fall into the trap of comparison, unless our identity and worth is truly rooted in ONLY Jesus Christ.
He is the only true source of love, identity and worth.
Married people… stop searching for your identity and worth in how your spouse shows you love. They are human, just like you. There will be good days and bad days, they will disappoint you, and thats okay, because you AND your marriage will be rooted in the steadfast love of God.
Single people… stop searching for your identity and worth in dating sites and relationship statuses. That void in your heart cannot and will not be fulfilled by marriage. Finding someone to spend your life with is a GOOD thing. But it will not fulfill you.
Let’s quit the striving to fill the voids in our hearts with the empty things the world has to offer, and lets press in to Jesus, the only giver of true love and worth, and rest in the truth of what His REAL LOVE looks like.
“Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.” – 1 Corinthians 13, MSG
This is real love.