Love Unconditional.

Valentine’s Day.

Many of you know that I am divorced; have been for over 2 years now. And no, I am not dating anyone. But, what you may not know is that I still celebrate Valentine’s Day. Now, I’m not a fan of all the commercialism that goes into Valentine’s Day in general and at one time I said that this was a holiday created to fill the pockets of the candy and flower companies and to make men have just one more important date to forget. While this may be true, I’ve since decided that it sounds a little cynical and narcissistic so I’ve stopped defining Valentine’s Day in that particular sense.

However, I do send snacks and Valentine’s to school with my boys and I do my best to attend their parties and take pictures of their days. In that sense I do give in to the commercialism quite a bit. We put a lot of thought and energy into getting all of their Valentine’s addressed to the right kids and making sure we have that “perfect” small token for teachers. We decorate boxes for their Valentine’s from their classmates to go into. Although, this year we cheated and bought already made mail boxes from Wal-Mart!

But, when I say I celebrate this day what I mean goes so much deeper than the obligatory flowers, candy, and chocolate. I mean that I celebrate love. Real love. True and unconditional love. The 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love. That kind of love is only found in Jesus.

Several years ago, I want to say 3 years ago but don’t hold me to that, I started a new Valentine’s Day Tradition. Just for me! I figured that everyone else is mostly going to celebrate love with their spouses or significant others so why I can’t I celebrate the One who made true love possible?

So for the last few years I have sat down and watched Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”. Now, that sounds a little intense, and it is, but it is also necessary. Can you imagine giving your only child as a sacrifice for everyone else? Can you imagine being the one true king and treated as a terrorist or cult leader? And then being crucified for your beliefs.

God loves us so very much that He sent Jesus to die a brutal death upon a cross just so we could have eternal life in Heaven. It makes me question, what would you be willing to do all for the name of love?

Could you stand there and listen to people mock you without returning a response? Knowing that you are of the purest people, could you watch a murderer be released into society knowing that the person who’s being released should be you, and voice no retort?

Could you stand there and take 39 strikes across your back with whips? Not just any whips, the ones with shrapnel and sharp pieces of glass affixed to the edges. The whips that are flung out and, as they reach their target, twisted so that the sharp pieces dig deep into flesh.

Could you allow people, soldiers, gladly doing what they’ve been told to do, people who hate you to the very core of their being, place a crown made solely of thorns upon your head? And not those tiny thorns you find on rose bushes but those giant thorns that you see on trees. The ones that are several inches in length and maybe a half-inch in diameter at the base. And not just setting it on your head but placing it firmly, shoving it, so that it stays on and cuts through to the skull. Would you tolerate that without once screaming out in pain?

And then there’s the nails. Not the little nails you use around the house but long nails, wide nails. Ones large enough to be used in a railroad tie. Maybe 6 inches long if not longer. Could you willingly lay down on that cross and allow people to hammer and beat those nails through your hands and feet into the wood making up the cross? Could you find the strength to stay there, nailed to a cross, without remark?

And in the end, could you find the strength to say, “Father, FORGIVE them” and mean it?


About Jenn

I am first and foremost a child of the one true King. I am a writer, a teacher, a student, a chauffeur, a cheerleader, a coach, a nurse, and a plethora of other things. I am a mom. I am loved. View all posts by Jenn

10 responses to “Love Unconditional.

  • Paul

    Jenn, great article. I was speaking on this subject today at our discipleship class. His love will always be the foundation for everything.

  • drefillmore

    Wow. That is a cool tradition. I’ve never even had the idea to do something like that. A well written and thought out post Jen. Thanks for sharing with us and reminding us all about the best love of all! 🙂

    • celestialhaven

      Thanks for reading Dre! It’s taken me a couple of years but I can finally make it through the entire movie. It’s so difficult to watch and then to know He did it willingly all because of love. Very humbling!

  • Ash

    Wow…being someone who is going to be entering with the hopes of being a religious sister, this is so powerful to read. I have watch that movie once, a couple of year ago in college, but have not sense. I do own it though. I might take to your idea, and watch it. You write so wonderfully and I am glad to have found your blog!

  • Rev Scott D. Medlock

    Hi Jen,

    Thanks for the invite to weigh in on your thoughts about unconditional love. It is a privilege to respond, and I hope in such a way that helps illuminate the perspective of, “Unconditional love.”

    Years ago, when I was very young in the things of the Lord, I had an interesting experience. Albeit painful at the time it really taught me a huge lesson.

    In short I had just came out of a miserably failed relationship. However, in the process of seeking the Lord about what happened and why, He gracious brought me the answer to the cause of much of the hurt and trouble. Most simply I had broken the first commandment that Jesus gave to us. “Love God with your whole heart, you whole soul, with all your mind, and all your strength.” Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27,

    I would have to say this is the first lesson I ever learned as a Christian. The first problem in any relationship is that we have forgotten our first love. And or we have replaced Him (God) on the back burner for the sake of the love of another person. I could see after much reflection on the failed relationship. The instances where all I would think of is the other person. Or had completely given my heart to that individual. I even went as far as completely giving of my resources (strength) into the relationship.

    However, the mistake was mine to be made. The folly of it was large. It took years in some areas to recover. A root of bitterness was in no way easy to root out. However, after time and the working of the Holy Spirit I was able to move on.

    It was at this point really that I questioned the Lord further asking. “Well then how am I supposed to love a spouse.” His answer was simple. “As Christ Loved the church.” Which is where the, “Unconditional Love,” comes in. Unconditional love is not a feeling or an emotion. Rather a choice followed with unwavering commitment.

    Your annual viewing of the, “Passion of the Christ.” I hope will have greater meaning this year with some of these thoughts. I hope most of all that you understand that as the last pictures shows him hanging and bloodied. He still loved unconditional, having made a choice, he followed through with unwavering commitment.

    People today are frivolous at best. A few little bumps in the road and they jump ship. I realize that some relationships can not be saved as the friend, or spouse has made up their mind to give up on it. I further understand that there are some issues in regards to personal safety. However, we should be like our master. Executing the perfect love towards those to whom we have committed ourselves.

    Perhaps, on the one side we have big red hearts, and cuddly teddy bears. But forget not the other side. To remain true even when you are sweating, “As it were drops of blood.” Fighting your flesh to remain faithful.

    Undoubtedly, unconditional love will have joyous times. However, be prepared to remain true through heart wrenching pain of an unfaithful friend or spouse. Remembering that we too once were reprehensible.

    Sadness may endure for a time, however with unwavering commitment, joy comes in the morning. Some of you are there in the good times, and some of you are there in the sad times. Remember, God’s love, unconditional love never fails

    God Bless,

    Rev. Scott D. Medlock

  • Ayesha Saeed

    Very beautifully written –

  • Chrissy

    Wow. Good job. You are an amazing writter and I love your view on this subject! I think I may look at this Sunday in a little bit of a different light. Awesome job. And thank you Jesus!

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