I have to admit, I really love Valentine’s Day. I am a hopeless romantic at heart and this particular observance lets me show my “sappy” side. The cliché love notes and cards and chocolates and roses and stuffed toys and jewelry…I love it all! The classic dinner date, complete with dress up clothes and fancy food, yes please! My husband knows full well that he will be in the “dog house” if he is remiss in the romance department on this special day!
In fact, looking back over time, I have always loved Valentine’s Day. Each year in elementary school, I looked forward to decorating my brown paper bag with all things red, purple and pink in expectation of it being filled with valentines from my classmates. I loved writing out personalized expressions to each of my friends in return. The classroom Valentine’s Day parties were the best with their white cupcakes sprinkled with red and pink, red party punch, chocolates, cinnamon hearts and candies with love messages. Prizes for the most festive red, white and pink outfit was the height of the celebration!
Reflecting more closely, I think my love for Valentine’s Day comes from my father’s equal love for its celebration. Growing up, my Dad was a very loving and sentimental man, showing his love for his wife and children daily. He loved extravagantly through his words of encouragement, his thoughtful actions, his warm embraces, his silly antics, his shared wisdom, his fierce protection, his time spent and heartfelt “I love you’s.” We always felt safe with him at the helm of our family ship and prized above everyone else.
But, on Valentine’s Day his love for his three girls went over the top! We would wake to a beautiful card with personal message and a box of chocolates on our dresser. He would pick us up from school so we would not have to walk home. He would bless my mother with a dozen red roses and my sister and I with one long stemmed rose each. He would take us all out for dinner using the utmost of gentlemanly manners. It was his way to celebrate the loves of his life and outwardly express his devotion to us. He knew how to do Valentine’s Day very well!
Today, I shower my menfolk with the same amount of blessing that my father showered on his three ladies. Since the early years of our dating relationship to present day, I have taken the time and effort to express my love to my husband in tangible ways daily and to commemorate what we have together on Valentine’s Day. As a natural extension of this I have enjoyed being creative in how I reach my two boys on the mushiest day of the year. They look forward to their “Lovebug” filled with sentiments from their Mommy dearest, even at 18 and 16 years of age, and still enjoy their daily dose of snuggles though emphatically denied!
When I take a look at love, I recognize that in this life I have been loved well by the humans closest to me and for that I am very thankful. I realize that my experience is in the minority, in relation to that of the larger collective, and this saddens me. Many individuals, in fact most, do not regard Valentine’s Day in a positive light due to past hurts, loss or love never realized. Due to the imperfection of our fallen world, love has been corrupted and falls short of its divine purpose.
But, there is hope! In the same way that my father loved me, and I in turn love my sons, God loves ALL of His children. (1 John 3:1) He looks down at our world, warped by sin, seeing all our imperfections and failures, and loves us all despite. His love goes far beyond our human expressions ever could, because His love is perfect and never fails. His love is enough and satisfies our deepest longings. His love brings peace and leads us to salvation through His son Jesus. (John 3:16-17) God is love! (1 John 4:8)
To sum up, the greatest Valentine’s Day card we could ever receive is the Bible itself. The most touching and meaningful of all love letters sent direct from our Creator Himself pointing us to our Bridegroom Jesus. I will leave you with one of my favourite scriptures.
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!