Today is Valentine’s Day. At school, Candy Grams are being distributed, with staff and students receiving notes of love and encouragement from their classmates and colleagues. The tradition is for couples to spend the evening at a fancy restaurant or to buy red roses and candy as gifts. There is debate of how it actually got started, but no matter its origins, it is known around the world as a day to tell your family and friends that you love them.
In the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Christians in Corinthia, he writes an entire chapter about love. He begins by saying that even if we have amazing spiritual gifts, have huge amounts of faith, or live a life of serving others, if we do not love others, then everything we do is just a bunch of useless noise. It means nothing. He then goes on to describe what true love is: it is patient, kind, not envious or boastful or proud. It is not self-seeking or easily angered. It doesn’t keep track of when people hurt us or delight when evil wins out. “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” The Apostle Paul ends the chapter by stating that faith, hope, and love will remain. But the greatest is love.
So, today on Valentine’s Day, remember that it’s not about how good your spouse makes you feel. It’s not about that expensive piece of jewelry or fancy dinner. It’s about what you can do to show others that you love them. Tomorrow, my husband and I are flying to southern France to check out the spots where the Impressionist artists painted. There are museums and historical sites throughout the area that Greg will enjoy. I must admit that I’m not that much of a museum person. Greg can spend 30 minutes staring at one painting, while I’ve already walked through all three floors of the place, and I’m ready to leave. When we try to go site seeing together, he will focus on one small interesting thing, while I peruse the whole area and take in the ambiance of the place. We experience travel differently. This can prove to be a challenging or humorous experience, depending upon how you look at it. After being together for 40 years, we are still learning to appreciate each other for how God has wired us. I really do enjoy planning trips that I know Greg will enjoy. This is one of those trips. He loves to see ruins and museums. I enjoy gardens and the sea. Focusing on how we can please the other person is the best way that we can demonstrate our love for each.
What can you do this coming week to show your family and friends how much they mean to you? Do they need to hear you say that you love them? Do they feel special when you go out of your way to do something for them that they like? Or do they feel best when you give them a personal gift? This morning, Greg gave me a framed church bulletin. Now, that sounds kind of weird for a Valentine’s Day gift. It’s a church bulletin that my dearest friend recently gave to me from when we were in middle school. It’s from my father’s church in New York, and it is like a microcosm of everything that I loved while I was growing up. Greg said that it includes just about everything that I always talk about. That gift is very special to me because of the sentiment behind it. Who else can say they got a church bulletin from their husband for Valentine’s Day? Maybe you can do something like that for your loved ones this week.
I wish you all a wonderful Energy Break as you spend extra time together.
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, EdD