I can remember the first time I said those three words. I was sixteen years old and knew little to nothing about love or what it means to truly love someone. Isn’t it amazing how our love transforms? Usually, it begins as this overwhelming, emotional high, driven primarily by attraction and the idea that “I would do anything for this person to stay in my life forever.”
By Gods infinite grace and mercy, twelve years later, I say those three words looking into the eyes of the same person. But it’s much different now; in a wonderful, messy, intimate, and sincere way we learn real love daily. As I sought to clean out a storage closet in our upstairs bathroom I coincidentally ran across some old notes and emails exchanged between Jason and myself. It flooded back those memories of being sixteen again and getting butterflies over holding hands, kissing, or saying I love you. I sat there and pondered over whether or not I missed having those feelings. As exhilarating as they were I have to say that I don’t miss the butterflies of
infatuation young love. 😉 My love for Jason is growing into something much deeper and more genuine. Every day I learn that love is less about “What can you do for me?” and more about “How can I serve you? [and not expect anything in return]”. The opportunities that God gives me to love unselfishly, when I obey, end up being more fulfilling then all the tummy flutters in the world. When we take hold of the fact that loving sacrificially has eternal purposes and rewards that is something to be excited over.
1 Peter 1:13(b) “Set your hope fully on the grace to be given when Jesus is revealed.”
I love that God chose the eve of Valentine’s day to impress on me that my and Jason’s love is not held together by chocolate, cards, candles, flowers, dinner for two, or if my stomach flips and flutters during a romantic embrace. Though, all those things are nice from time to time. 🙂 Our love is held together by the Author and Creator of love. Who showed us what Love really is and teaches us to be like Him. This Valentine’s Day you may be like me. Your husband is working, you have several children running around, you possibly need a shower, and there is not an ounce of Dove chocolate on the premises. Or maybe it’s just starting off as a typical Saturday and you’re wondering if there are any surprises waiting around the corner. I’m not saying our prince charming won’t come through with a bouquet of roses after a long shift but if he doesn’t… would you like to join me in giving our men a pass this year? This is a challenge for me as a woman because I do like romance and thoughtfulness. But just as the Lord graciously reminded me today, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
There is a lot of hype and pressure on Valentine’s Day and I’m not against enjoying it and having fun with the occasion. But I also think that there is room on this day for grace and remembering that our affections for our husbands should run deeper than Cupid. Let us express “I Love You” to our men despite how we feel, the challenges we may be facing, or how they may respond. Just love, as Christ loved us.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.