This text is a part of the Open Letters sequence.
Pricey Single Man or Lady,
It appears the Christmas decorations will not be even fully packed away earlier than each neighborhood card and reward store has reworked itself right into a sea of crimson, reminding us that February 14th is Valentines Day and that youbrave man or womanbest not overlook that particular man or girl in your life.
For all its glittering playing cards, heart-shaped containers of sweet, and crimson rose-based flower preparations, Valentines Day confronts every of us with a fundamental query that speaks to the core of our existence as human beings: Does anybody on this large, impersonal universe truly love me? It rocks our soul and penetrates the core of our being as a result of it’s a legitimate query, it’s a important query, and it’s a deeply human query. It touches a nerve inside us as a result of deep down as human beings we all know that we had been made for greater than ourselves, and we’ll by no means be glad alone by ourselves. On the apex of the creation account Scripture affirms that it isn’t good for the human being to be alone (Gen. 2:18). The existential query we face every day of our lives, however particularly at Valentines Day, is that this: Who’s there that really loves me simply as I’m? Not due to what I might be, may very well be, or needs to be; however simply as I amwith just a few warts, just a few habits I dont care to acknowledge, and one or twoor perhaps even ten or twelve different shortcomingsthat come to thoughts. Who loves me for simply the individual God created me to be, with out qualification?
Redeeming Singlenessexpounds a theology of singleness that reveals how the blessings of the covenant are actually immediately mediated to believers by means of Christ.
Our world offers us, as singles, one reply to this existential query: You, man or girl, higher make one thing occur! It is advisable put your greatest foot ahead and put your self on the market. It is advisable discover the particular somebody who might be there for you, look after you, and love you unconditionally. It is advisable repair your hair (or get a hairpiece, gents), replace your wardrobe, take up a few new hobbies, and typically, simply get your self out into public view in the true world to make one thing occur. And in the present day this course of is facilitated much more readily through a myriad of on-line social media venues and relationship web sites to help us find that particular individual ever extra effectively. So, anybody nonetheless singlestill alone in response to societys standardhas solely himself or herself accountable. And failure to take motion means you run the fateful danger of going by means of life all aloneand even arriving at deaths door painfully alone.
However Scripture offers us one other reply: You might be fully valued and treasured simply as you might be as a result of the Being operating this large universe is, in truth, a private Being and he loves you wholly and fully. It isn’t conditioned in your fabulous skills, or your nice physique, or your checking account. No, he loves you simply as he created you, and he invitations you right into a relationship with himself for all eternity. God not solely loves you, however he willingly selected to pay the final word worth to carry you into that relationship with him simply as you arewith your warts, unhealthy habits, and predilection for sure sins. This reality just isn’t an afterthought or side-effect to operating a busy and sophisticated universe. Your salvation is on the core of Gods very plan inside the entire historical past of the created order.
Sure, you say, in fact, God loves me. I get that. However God doesnt perceive simply what it’s wish to be me and to undergo life as a single grownup. He doesnt relate to a life with out a significant, bodily intimate expertise with somebody of the alternative intercourse. Or does he? Possibly Gods love is a love that totally is aware of what we’re experiencing as a result of God himself got here all the way down to earth and lived a life on earth as a single man with out a spouse or a bodily childa life probably devoid of any romantic encounters as Jesus affections had been targeted on the entire of humankind and their want for a relationship with him and his Father. However as Jesus was actually human, he did expertise instances of deep aloneness. He battled the satan alone within the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11). As a single grownup having no place to put his head (Matt. 8:20), he profoundly understood the realities of experiencing life as a single grownup devoid of getting the particular somebody to return residence to each night. But, Jesus didn’t dwell his life alone in isolating himself from folks. He was continually related to neighborhood, whether or not it was the three, the twelve, the seventy, or within the crowds of disciples. Jesus was related not simply to his personal bodily household, but in addition to Peters household, in addition to to a religious household of the twelve apostles he invested himself in.
Crucial factor we have to do that Valentines Day is to commit ourselves to hunt the love that really satisfies.
The truth of the incarnation testifies to a number of vital features of Gods love. First, God, by means of the earthly expertise of Jesus, profoundly is aware of what it means to undergo the human life as a single individual with out experiencing the love of a partner or deep bodily intimacy. But, the Scriptures affirm that Jesus was totally human in each approach mandatory (Heb. 2:17). Neither Jesus, nor every other human being who goes by means of life devoid of the love of a partner, is lower than fully human. The Scriptures affirm that in Christ, we’re all full human beings (Col. 1:28), with or with out that particular somebody. The incarnation additionally reminds us that the love of a human being just isn’t the final word supply of the all-satisfying love that we crave; however fairly, it serves because the pointer to that final self-satisfying love that’s solely present in God. The love of a husband for his spouse that’s so elegantly described in Ephesians 5:25-32 is an illustrative pointer towards a larger mysterythat of the love of Christ for his church. That’s the love that really satisfies each one in every of us as we expertise it collectively in neighborhood with God and with each other!
Crucial factor we have to do that Valentines Day is to commit ourselves to hunt the love that really satisfies. That is the love that loves us unconditionally, the love that totally satisfies each facet of our souls, and the love that’s eternally assured and may by no means be misplaced. No human being is able to offering such love. It’s discovered solely within the all-powerful God who invitations us into an everlasting relationship with him by means of the gospel. That is the love that God a lot had for the world, for you and for me, that he gave his solely begotten son that whoever of us would embrace his love and consider in him would share an eternity of experiencing that love with him (John 3:16). It’s the energy of this self-giving love that Paul describes in Romans Eight when he so boldly declares, For I’m positive that neither dying nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor issues current nor issues to return, nor powers, nor top nor depth, nor the rest in all creation, will be capable of separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:38-39).
My brother or sister, be inspired! You might be totally cherished this Valentines Day by the one one who additionally totally is aware of you and receives you simply as you might be. And thats a relationship of affection that may by no means go away you nor forsake youfor it’s a relationship of affection for all eternity.
In his love,
Barry Danylak is the writer of Redeeming Singleness: How the Storyline of Scripture Affirms the Single Life.