I’m not one to give much credence to man-made special days. Like Valentine’s Day. I wasn’t a great girlfriend and am probably one of the worst wives ever. Just ask Mark what I gave him last Valentine’s Day. Zip. I feel like I’m being told I have to do something romantic. So I do just the opposite. It’s kind of a bah humbug of Valentine’s. (It’s also strong-willed child in a grown-up syndrome but that’s another blog).
These special calendar days have been gobbled up by the market place. Instead of being a day where one took the time to remember what was special about someone, what they loved about that person, it has become about money, consumerism and a lot of have to’s and shoulds. Not very romantic in my opinion. It has nothing to do with love. That doesn’t mean I can’t make it about love.
My own attitude isn’t very romantic either. Just because the world makes it about stuff, doesn’t mean I have to buy into that. (Good news right Mark?) Our boys are getting older. They have questions about relationships. It’s made me stop and re-examine what kind of example am I setting for them. Do I want them to be bah humbugging their own sweethearts someday? No! I want my boys to grow up to be men who have a little romantic side to them too. Who better to teach that to them than both of their parents?
I want them to understand love and relationships from God’s point of view too. I consider it a year round teachable moment, not just one day. However February 14th has been on my radar early this year because a certain movie is coming out and everyone is talking about it. There are blogs and articles and talk shows. I’ve been trying to figure this all out. What about you?
Our study of Nehemiah has been timely in the last two weeks. Kelly Minter has really made us stop and think about what we engage in as far as mindless entertainment. This week we were talking about guarding our hearts. Between studying Nehemiah, thinking about love, romance and the movie coming out, my brain has been on overdrive. You may be asking why is any of this important? I believe it is these everyday little decisions that add up and form our lives. So this is what I’ve come up with so far. (Please don’t think for a moment that I have it all figured out. I don’t. I feel like I am the last person to be writing this.) These are my own thoughts. Please think about it and come up with your own. The idea is to think first and not just blindly do.
As for me and my house, we choose not to see this movie or read the book. Not because someone told us not to (again strong-willed child syndrome) but because as I wrote in my last blog, we want to be a parents that do as we say. We too, have to watch what we put in our minds. We don’t want our boys looking at porn so shouldn’t that principle apply to us as well? I want my family to embrace good and to run far, far from temptation. As parents, we need to model that for our children. Maybe if more of us did, our kids wouldn’t be so messed up.
If romance and love needs some attention in our own lives, shouldn’t we attend to it? It will take work on our part. Hard work. It isn’t magically going to appear, contrary to all the fairy tales, romance novels and Hollywood. This is the message of a lot of articles and blogs as this movie comes out. I follow Jill Savage, who is a writer and speak and her blog the last few weeks has been about marriage. She and her husband talk candidly about his affair and their journey since then. It was refreshing and eye-opening. You can check out her blog here. Just like our spiritual lives, our marriages need attention. You ignore it, it’s going to suffer.
Finally as I was listening to the song, Heart of My God by Sarah Hart and Kelly Minter which goes along with the Nehemiah study, it struck me that maybe this Valentine’s Day, the heart I should be pursuing with earnest is God’s. Do I really know His heart? Maybe He’d like me to. Minter talks about how God’s kindness brings us to repentance. As I thought about that, I wondered about His love. What does it do to us? It didn’t take me long to figure it out. His love, His heart, woos us back to Him.
Isn’t it Jesus’ kindness to the woman caught in adultery, that makes you sigh? His gentleness with Martha as she shakes with indignation because her sister didn’t help? His joy over Mary’s choice to sit at His feet? His care for His mother as he died on the cross? Aren’t these some of the qualities that we look for and want in our spouses? And struggle to live out ourselves? The grace, kindness and love that we crave, do we give back to our true loves? Ouch. Guilty. We mess up and then go running, looking for love and romance in other places. We won’t find it. There is only one place it resides. The heart of God.
Isn’t it His heart, His love and grace for us, so undeserving, that finally brings us to our knees? That draws us back to Him. Hellfire and brimstone doesn’t accomplishes this. But love does.
I’m not sure about you, but I want to know what it means to fall in love with God over and over again. This Valentine’s Day, maybe it’s about discovering the author of true love. Pure and unconditional love that sacrificed all. For you. For me. An undeserving gift that woos us back to His heart. To Home.