This Valentine's Day, take your cue from Jesus

Wars have been fought over it. Epics have been written about it. Empires have been won and lost over it. And more promises have been made and broken in the name of love than anything else in the world. From Kanye to Shakespeare, the lyrics of every generation focus on love.

I am not aware of any other area of life that creates higher expectations and hopes, nor any area that has the potential to cause the depth of disappointment, heartbreak, and shattered dreams. We're captivated by love ... and crushed by the lack of it.

We look for it in all the usual places — a new boyfriend, a smokin' hot girl, a spouse, a child, a parent and in bars, bottles and substitutes that will never satisfy.

But even if we find it, how long does it last? How do we keep it?

This week, the packaging and trappings of love are everywhere, and Valentine's Day stirs up a wide range of emotions, from romance and anticipation to depression and resentment and everything in between. Whether we're married or single, in a thriving relationship or we haven't had a date in years, the truth is we were all created for love.

God, the author of love, planted a deep desire to love and be loved in every one of us. That desire is why we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and risk our hearts just one more time, over and over again.

As a pastor, I've seen thousands of people fall in love and performed dozens of marriage ceremonies. In my role, I often get the privilege of talking to people about their relationships, and these days it's not uncommon to find myself talking to people whose marriages are on the brink.

But at Quest, in an environment of love, selflessness and humility, I've also seen hundreds of couples experience the power of God to heal broken hearts and restore relationships. Love is the strongest power on earth. It can move mountains, tame the giant of self and bring dead things back to life. There are no exceptions! Relationships that are failing can find hope in Christ and thrive. It really is possible!

This Valentine's Day, in the middle of a commercial holiday full of sentimentalism, flowers and chocolate, what if we took our cue from Jesus, the One who defined true love by laying down His life for His beloved?

Husbands, what if you let your wife know you'd choose her all over again and focus on bringing out the best in her?

Wives, what if you let him know he's still your knight in shining armor, both in public and in the bedroom?

And what if we all asked God to show us how to love ... and how to be loved? Young and old, married and single ... He's just waiting to pour His love into our hearts.

In Jeremiah 31:3, God offers us this great hope: "I've never quit loving you and I never will! Expect love, love and more love."

This Valentine's Day, get your hopes up. The author of love has amazing things in store.