Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day.
Maybe it’s the commercialism… buying gifts to say “I love you” on a day you’re supposed to just doesn’t say “I love you” as much as it says “I’d like to keep myself out of trouble, so I will follow the rules and get you cheap chocolate and expensive flowers.” I’m not saying that’s what every person thinks when they’re buying their significant other a gift. I just find it much more thoughtful on a day when it’s not expected. Plus, I don’t know about your kids, but MY kids certainly don’t need another excuse to get presents.
Or maybe it’s because I’m a teacher… if you also work with kids, there is no need for me to explain further. If you don’t, let me summarize: 27 (or more) 8- and 9- year olds (or some other age) full of too much sugar and emotion and
excited bouncing off the walls about the thought of more. Anxious to read cards and savor Sponge Bob’s pre-printed words of love from the current “love of their life.” Hurt feelings. Hyperactivity. Lack of focus. Excess of drama.
Or maybe, just maybe, I get a little irritated about A day to force love and kindness. When shouldn’t we be full of love and kindness EVERY day? Shouldn’t we take time as often as possible to tell those we care how much we care?
Maybe I’m just cynical. If so, then I married the right man. He’s never been a fan of cupid, either. He shows me in a thousand ways that he loves me, and I don’t need a stuffed bear holding a heart on this day to remember. I am reminded daily.
Our typical Valentine’s Day is pretty much like any other day. Except at dinner, we try to do something special with the kids. Last year, we had all pink and red food. Breakfast for dinner: Ham, pink biscuits with raspberry jam, jell-0 and strawberries. This year, we upped the class on our dinner and had a nice meal out with Matt’s family to celebrate his brother’s birthday. Delicious food with people we love. Much better than cheap chocolates.
Yes, definitely cynical. But on this particular Valentine’s Day, there were a few things that cured me of my bad attitude about this day of love-with-a-lower-case-l, and made me remember to keep it a day of Love-with-a-capital-L. Lower-case-l-love is bought in gift shops teeming with pink and red and hearts and stuffed animals. It is the too much sugar and the costlier-than-usual flowers. It’s spending $4.99 on a card that will be thrown away tomorrow and not buying another card until next year, same time. Upper-case-L-Love is 1 Corinthians 13* Love. It’s the Love we need to be celebrating, and not just this day, but every day. It’s not the $4.99 card, but the message it holds that is demonstrated in action.
So… those things I mentioned. The ones that reminded me to keep this day a day of Love, capital L.a
- Seeing my kids walk by the fridge where this hangs: And each time they do, they say in a deep voice, as though they were Jesus, “Will YOU be MINE?” Followed by an immediate response from themselves (in their own voices), “YES! I’m YOURS!” Annalise made this in her Bible Class, and the conversation was their homework. She does her homework daily and has taught her brother to do the same. I pray that all their lives they will feel the Love of Jesus. Feel him saying to them, “Will you be mine?” And I pray their answer will remain what it is today. May we always answer to Jesus, “YES! I’m YOURS!” Love. Capital L.
- I came home to this: Aww. Sweet. (We’ve been boycotting $4.99 cards – or any card – that will just be thrown out, for years now. It’s the message that counts, right?) So I read the message: That message. Handwritten. Lived out. 1 Corinthians 13 Love. Love-with-a-capital-L.
- You might remember this post where I posted the flowers Matt got me “just because.” I died laughing: Well, you may not remember. But he did. So today, next to my bouquet of flowers and beautiful note, there was another note:How I Love that man. With the capital L kind of Love.
- A friend posted a quote from her 6-year-old daughter about Valentine’s Day. Maybe it is exactly my point. I had to share. (I haven’t asked her permission yet, so no names included):
“Gammy says that Valentines Day has nothing to do with God but Valentines Day is about love and sharing and God is love and sharing and so I think Valentines Day is everything about God.”
Is it just me, or are 6-year-olds full of wisdom? I think we could learn a lot from them. This girl gets it. It’s all about the Love-with-a-capital-L.
A Godly Love, because God is Love. A Love that is humble, patient, and gentle. A Love that Loves at all times. The kind of Love that serves one another.
And sometimes, it might also give really good chocolate. Just because.
*1 Corinthians 13:
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.