You know those little heart-shaped candies they give out as Valentine’s gifts? The ones with the little words or phrases printed on them?
I’ve never been a fan of them, personally – they taste like antacid to me – but I find them amusing, nonetheless. They always have these trite little sayings on them (“Soul Mate,” “Crazy 4 U,” “Call Me”) that are supposed to communicate your love for someone else. But, can you really get across the fullness of love via a chalky little candy heart?
I was thinking about this today because I was in Dollar General and saw where they had some of their Valentine’s Day stock on sale. The candy hearts were part of the display, and the one that caught my eye read, “Be Mine.”
What does that mean, really? I know that, in our modern culture, saying “Be Mine” is meant to be synonymous with asking someone to be in a romantic relationship with you. It’s become almost devoid of meaning, just a cute little cliche that we say when what we’re really trying to tell someone is, “I like you – will you go out with me?”
Of course, that phrase actually coveys a lot more meaning than that when you look at the words themselves. “Be Mine” is not an invitation to hang out occasionally and go catch a movie now and then – it’s an exhortation to completely and unreservedly give yourself to another person.
In a way, it’s a picture of a marriage relationship – two people joined together, fully committed to each other, striving to serve and love and edify each other. In this sort of relationship, your ownership over yourself is consumed by your commitment to your relationship with your spouse. Under God’s leadership and through His power, it is a powerful, unbreakable bond.
That’s quite a lot of meaning to put on a piece of candy.
Now, I’m not saying that we need to re-examine our modern use of the phrase or ban it from being printed on heart-shaped candies. I’m just saying that it’s a phrase with a lot of meaning that, perhaps, is more suited to a different relationship than it’s usually applied to.
It’s also exactly what God wants of us.
James 4:7 says,
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
And, Romans 6:13 says,
Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness.
As we strive to give ourselves fully to God, He will give us the strength to live the kind of life that He wants us to live. The Scottish theologian Peter Taylor Forsyth said, “Unless there is in us that which is above us, we shall soon yield to that which is about us.” Our submission to God is what allows us to resist the corrosive nature of the world in which we live and to be the people that He has created us to be.