Recently while I was scheduling a regular appointment that fell on February 14. The scheduler asked me if I wanted to come in that day since it was Valentine’s Day. I told her that it would be fine to schedule on February 14, then went on to brag about how my husband surprised me in a special way on our recent anniversary. She was absolutely certain that he had something special for Valentine’s Day if he had planned a great anniversary celebration.
Valentine’s Day stirs up our deep dream to be loved. Our hearts are desperateto feel that we belong and that there is someone out there who loves us unconditionally.I do know that being in a loving marriage of over 26 years is part dream, butit is also part struggle. The dream of love never quite lives up to the realityof love.
Here is a prayer that my husband and I ask couples to pray as we begin our MarriageEnrichment Weekends.
We acknowledge that You are the originator of marriage, and it is only throughYour love that any of us are capable of loving an imperfect person for a lifetime.You alone have demonstrated what it means to passionately love another person.We give up on trying to make marriage work on our own. We humbly accept Yourpresence in our marriage and look to You to form two imperfect people into greatlovers and an example of Your love for the church. AMEN.
The dream of love is never fully met in any human relationships we have. Christianmarriages come the closest to the love our souls were created for, but we stillyou have the imperfections to deal with.
Since infancy I have been on a search for love—first from my parents, thenteachers, boyfriends, or a husband. I’m not saying that I never found lovefrom any of these sources; it just wasn’t the love that my soul craved.Sometime in my thirties I finally got a true taste of the love I had been searchingfor. Oswald Chambers says, “Drink deep and full of the love of God andyou will not demand the impossible from earth’s loves, and the love ofwife and child, of husband and friend, will grow holier and healthier and simplerand grander.” I cross-stitched this statement for my husband many yearsago. It hangs over his dresser. It is a great guide that points to the love weare trying to get on Valentine’s Day.
You see my husband is a hopeless romantic, but he doesn’t like to be toldwhat to do. Valentine’s Day isn’t a day that he tries to outdo ourfriends on how special he can make me feel. He knows that I feel loved, and wegladly exchange our cards and make time for a shared meal if it is convenient.Thinking about it, loving me this Valentine’s Day might mean making roomfor the work God has called me to do.
Valentine’s Day is a great day to examine our hearts. We can think aboutthe greatest love we have ever known. It is the love of God the Father, whoseplan it was to send Jesus to earth to redeem us from the consequences of oursins. We can open our hearts to the love of Jesus, who, because of His greatlove for His Father as well as for us, died on the cross to pay that ransom.Then there’s the love of the Holy Spirit which is poured out for us. Romans5:5:
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Now that is the love that satisfies and even makes earthly love better.
Happy Valentine’s Day!