I was watching the news this week and saw a feature piece on a new radical obsession with outward demonstrations of love between partners – especially teens and young adults. It seems that people are purchasing ordinary locks – small padlocks, if you will, writing their names on the face of the locks and then professing their love to each other at some public place, after which they affix the lock to a “permanent” object and then throw away the key.
Fences, light poles, or anything else that a padlock can be put on are fair game for these people who seem to be obsessed with locking something up in public. Most of these sites are near water so the folks who profess their love to each other can throw the key into a body of water, most of the time a river or lake. I was amazed at the number of locks that some of these sites have. There are literally hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of locks affixed to various public public landmarks around the world. And according to the editorial on the program Sunday Morning last week, this worldwide overt demonstration of love is now coming to America.
What makes this so odd to understand is that people think that by writing their names and then creating a public nuisance by affixing a lock to a public place, that somehow their “love” is destined to survive. There are just several problems with all of this. When is the last time that most of us believed that you had to “lock” somebody up to prove your love for them? Or that somehow a $10 lock on a public monument is any demonstration of love at all?
In fact, I think of it as graffiti. Something that costs money for the taxpayers to remove at their expense. It’s just some sort of worthless stunt that costs all of us money. After all, who cares if you write your name on a lock and stick it on something?
True love includes the growth of each partner and the long term commitment to each other. It doesn’t mean that you have to “lock” somebody up to prove how much you “love” them. One of the best demonstrations of love is the love that God has for His Son, Jesus Christ. Moreover, the love that God has for Christ is the same love that Christ has for us. Dedication and a long term commitment to care for us and help us to be the best that we can be. By the way, it is also the model of behavior that we are to follow as we demonstrate our love to each other, especially as husband and wife. What a glorious model God has created for us.
And to think that Christ gave His life on the cross so that we could be reunited with God in heaven. Now that’s love – selfless love – a demonstration of the power of agape love and how God wants us to live in unity with others. And it’s much more demonstrative than putting some lock on a fence – much less with our names painted on the front. I just can’t get over the idea that people do this. Really?
Undoubtedly, the most famous verse in the Bible having to do with love is John 3:16, our verse for the evening this Valentine’s Day. We are told, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall never die, but have everlasting life.” That says it all – the greatest act of love and sacrifice that the world has ever know. Period…
My encouragement this evening is that you should lock the love of God firmly in your heart – right where God wants it to be. Because I know, as surely as I know that God is real, that you have touched the heart of God in a very special way. My prayer is that you will bask in the light of God’s love for you and never forget that God never forces His love on anybody – it’s a gift – a free gift – that is yours for the asking. No, make that yours for the accepting… Forever and ever, Amen. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…