By Kathy Parish
Let us remember this Valentine’s Day the greatest love story of all, the romance of God’s love for us and the gift of his Son, Jesus Christ, as He woos us to relationship with Himself.
It’s Valentine’s Day, the annual (commercialized) celebration of love and affection. Traditional gifts, tokens to express one’s devotion, include flowers (in particular, red roses, the flower of love), candy (chocolate, of course), greeting cards and jewelry. This year I am even seeing ads suggesting the gift of one’s “ancestry” by giving kits for DNA tests to identify your loved one’s genetic heritage.
Remember, however, the origin of this day, the Feast of Saint Valentine, St. Valentine’s Day. Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine, and the day originated as a Christian remembrance. We can thank Geoffrey Chaucer, writing in 1382, for associating this feast day with romantic love. And, here we are, in the 21st century, the religious symbolism of the day forgotten in the focus on romantic love.
What do writing, Valentine's Day and faith have to do with each other? #acfwblog #amwriting Click To Tweet It is fitting on this day to remember the greatest love story of all as recorded in John 3: 16—
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJV)
Isn’t that the best gift of all, eternal life? And, isn’t that the greatest romance story of all? God actively seeking us. Jesus, in His love, giving the ultimate sacrifice. And, after we have turned to Him, acknowledging our need, accepting Jesus as Lord of our life, He gives purpose to our days and hope for eternal life.
What about when we, in our human frailty, slip away from that “first love”? I believe that he deliberately and carefully woos us back to a closer relationship with him. He doesn’t use tangible gifts but, rather, the consequences of our decisions, the circumstances of our lives, and words of instruction and encouragement to bring us back to a closer walk with Him. That’s where our calling as writers comes in. Proverbs 15:23b—
…and a word spoken in due season, how good it is! (NKJV)
Substitute the word “written” in the above verse. I grew up reading Grace Livingston Hill’s novels. Her heroines were typically in some kind of tragic and distressed situation. Yet, throughout the novel, a strong thread of Christian faith was evident. As a young girl, I was inspired to the ideal of a strong, quiet, patient faith.
Even today, as I read the words of both fiction and nonfiction Christian authors, I am instructed and, more importantly, inspired to a closer walk with Jesus. I often struggle with the pressures and tragedies of this life. And, sometimes, my devotion, my resolve, my walk of faith suffers. But, you, as Christian writers, provide words of encouragement and inspiration to get me back on track. You give direction to my study, my prayer life and my daily walk. If I am true to my calling as a writer, I do the same for my readers.
We write to entertain. But we also write as an expression of our faith. We write to share lessons learned from our personal experiences. We write as agents in the greatest love story of all, Christianity. Today let us remember this and renew our commitment to being the writer of words that speak to God’s love for mankind.
Kathy Parish lives with her beloved husband, daughter, grandson, and miniature Schnauzers, Piper and Princess, in central Arkansas. Her faith is the foundation of her life. An actively practicing cardiology nurse practitioner, she has indie published two inspirational romances, Freely Given and Colorado’s Choice.