I don’t know the last time I saw an eagle celebrate their anniversary with their eagle mate or the last time I heard about a lion throwing down some killer dance moves in Club Lion’s Den, but I know people celebrate birthdays, engagements, marriages, and babies being born monthly. It was this revelation that put “Celebrating others and celebrating our lives” on the list of “Things Singles should do before marriage”. Although many may not see the correlation between this and our relationship status, and instead see this as trite or placing ourselves before God, allow me to show you how powerful celebration is and why it is important to God for us to celebrate.
God put celebration in our DNA and every time we move away from a place of celebration we are moving ourselves away from God. It says in John 16:21 “ When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.” It is in God’s perfect plan and with great joy that we celebrate life. Yet, for many as we grow up all of these things we celebrate start to have a higher cost to our emotional bank account and for whatever reason societal pressure points to our singleness as one of the culprits. It is as though in our childhood we started with a full celebration bank account and based on our life experiences and being convinced at just how terrible it is to be single on your birthday, at your friends weddings, and all the holidays throughout the year it is these moments are focus is placed on what is missing instead of on the positive. It is here that I am convinced our ability to celebrate in our singleness plays a role in our capacity to love and encounter God in a miraculous way. Furthermore, we have the power to heal our celebration bank account deficit through the participation of celebrations. Yes, you heard me, in celebration we have the capacity to show God’s love in a tremendous way. Although we are never to make idols of ourselves or others over God, it is without a doubt in my mind, body and soul, God wants us to commune with others in this special way.
Additionally, it is a powerful testimony to where our hearts are at when we can celebrate when we might not have all things we want ourselves. In the book of Exodus Moses is given the Ten Commandants to share with Gods people. The last of the Commandments is that we shall not covet. I believe on the opposite end of celebration is often a sad, empty, jealous, and often covetous spirit. When we operate out of these spirits it drives a wedge between our identity in Christ and others. For instance, I thought that I was not a big “celebration” person, and I noticed as a teen and young adult it was hard for me to receive and it was even sometimes painful to go to weddings or see people enjoying parties. Upon reflection, I realized it was really hard to celebrate others when blinded by the darkness of my own pain and emptiness. Yet over the past few years, I realized the healing power celebration has on ourselves and humanity. The more I celebrated others and bore the burdens of my brothers and sisters the stronger of a desire and connection I had to myself and to others. This awakened the celebration within. It now feels wrong to suppress this part of our human expression and I celebrate others with a new found authentic enthusiasm. Our desire is to draw near to Him and it is through celebration I believe we tap into a special part of the Father’s heart for His creation as it says in Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Everyday is an opportunity to celebrate and bring smiles, laughter, and joy into the world; all of which are unifiers of the body of Christ. While the enemy may try to take our focus away from the joys of celebration or even try to cut it short, it is the delight of the Lord to keep the flow of the new wine just as we see in John 2 at the wedding in Cana.
Celebrating others is truly the gift that keeps on giving. We are designed to be loved and celebration is one of the most powerful ways we can share in Christ’s love for His creation. I believe it is a privilege that we get to celebrate others by learning who they are and showing them we care enough to know those things about them, and in the process reap the benefits within our own minds, bodies, and spirits. It says in 1 Thessalonians 5:11”Encourage one another and build each other up”. We get to do that when we celebrate. There is a lot of wisdom socked away in celebration, that I am unsure I am giving it the justice so deserves. It truly has a profound impact on our outlook on life, our relationships, and on our health, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Simply think about how good it feels when someone acknowledges and smiles at you when you walk into a room? Now imagine your friends cheering and celebrating you as you walk into a room to celebrate your birthday. One smile just got magnified and multiplied into a lot of feel good feelings of love, joy, and acceptance- the opposite of fear, sadness, and rejection. Furthermore, it is a rewarding discipline for those who struggle to step outside of the disappointment and sadness they may feel in their own life, it is learning to look away from ourselves and instead focusing on how we can enhance and bring joy into others lives. Giving is often a very healing thing that we can carry into all of our relationships. I believe there is correlation between how healthy our relationships are with friends and family that will show us aspects of how healthy our relationship will be in marriage. Celebration of our friends and families is something that we get to bring into marriage. Celebration brings joy and joy brings laughter and it is in laughter our voices unite in the sweet sound of Heavens song of unity over us.
Additionally, as a single person we have the honor of praying for and celebrating married couples, being filled with joy for those engaged, and celebratory for the milestones others reach. The celebrations you share with others will bleed into your view of the world and anchor you further into your true identity in Christ. For we are all worthy of celebration. The idea “once I have this I will be happy and joyful” is a misnomer. It is not to say a person could not change for the better in a relationship, but it is wisdom to find the joys of celebration with Christ before finding it with another. A person filled with joy eager to celebrate others will reap what they sow into their own life. It is a thing we not only do, but it is actually what we are to Jesus. We are a walking celebration of God’s goodness on this earth so pull out your party pants and start celebrating your life and the lives around you!