Thomas Aquinas said, “The things that we love tell us what we are.” If Aquinas is right, I’ve been a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, and a mom – now I can add grandma to that list. My new Valentine is Axia Jane Denison, my first granddaughter. Each time I gain a new love in my life, I realize that God has given us a limitless capacity for love. 1 John 4:8 says, “God is love.” Love is the clearest explanation we can comprehend for the limitless character of God.
We grow up hearing sermons about God’s love for his creation. We wrestle with that knowledge when things in life do not happen as we would have liked. But God’s love transcends circumstances. He cannot love us any more – and he cannot love us any less – He can only love us completely.
When Jim and I were married I wondered if my love for him would change the love I had always felt for my family. Would I have to choose? I discovered that loving Jim was a new love in my life. That love was simply added to the love I felt for my family. I realized that God’s love for us doesn’t change with circumstances, it simply increases and adapts to them.
When my first son was born I was overwhelmed with the depth of love I felt as I held my tiny baby. It was the first time I came close to understanding the way God loves us. I think that must be why the Bible describes us as God’s “children.” It was the best earthly explanation available for the unconditional, overwhelming love God has for us.
When I was pregnant with my second son, I actually worried about loving him as much as I did my first. I couldn’t imagine being able to love again like I loved Ryan. Then Craig was born, and a new love was born as well. Loving Craig with a unique but equal love taught me how God loves each of us. God “is” love and therefore has an endless capacity to love each of us with a complete and new love.
My boys each chose beautiful, godly women to marry. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to love them like I loved my own flesh and blood. Once again, a new love was born for both of my “girls.” I sat at both weddings, watched them promise to love one another, and the verse that kept coming to my mind was, “My cup runneth over.” Love is an artesian well that never stops flowing. Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love.” The Holy Spirit is the unending producer of God’s love in our lives.
Recently, I was privileged to be with my granddaughter. Once again, I realized that God had given me a new love. I rocked her in my arms and sang “Jesus loves me, this I know…” She is just a few weeks old, but I believe there is “power in the name” and I will try to speak the name of Jesus often when I spend time with her.
I drove home from Houston, anxious to see Jim and my family in Dallas – and already missing the family I was leaving behind. I think one of the most wonderful aspects of heaven will be the fact that we are never separated from those we love. As I sit here typing a “Valentine’s blog post” that is what I would most want to say.
The uniqueness of God’s love is that it is limitless, individual, unchanging and eternal. And God’s love is always present in our lives. There will never be a day when we are separated from God and his tangible love for us.
This is a time to give Valentines and tell people you love them. Take a moment, bow your head, and send God an expression of your love as well. He is the reason we know how to love everyone else. “God is love.” That is the best Valentine message we will ever receive.