It was the day of the year I dreaded the most.
No algebra exam or P.E. class mile run could rival the distaste I felt. My stomach would be in knots, my heart heavy, my head swimming.
It was Valentine’s Day in high school. (DUM, DUM, DUM…)
Just typing that sentence made me wrinkle my nose a little bit. But before you think I am gonna be sippin’ on some Valentine’s Day Hatorade (get it? Hater? Gatorade?) let me explain my perspective.
See, I never dated anyone in high school. Actually, I never dated anyone until the last 40 days of college. And that cool dude became my husband. I sure don’t regret the way things worked out… but Valentine’s Day in high school still kinda sucked for us singles.
The morning would start out ok. But as the day wore on… things went downhill. At the end of the hallway was the school admin office. With huge clear glass windows. It was unavoidable to notice the changes of that stinkin’ countertop’s contents with each passing class.
It would start slowly. Maybe with one rose in a vase. Then a few teddy bears were added to the mix. Some balloons showed up, followed by the influx of flowers that would make wedding flowers seem pathetic. By the time that final bell rang at 3:10pm, the office was overflowing with candy, trinkets, floral arrangements… and the giddy girls who received them.
(Sidenote: Flowers are ridiculously expensive. I am not sure where these high school boys were working and/or getting their allowance from, but I sure would have appreciated a job application to rake in that kind of dough when I was 16.)
Obviously, I was never on the receiving end of those extravagant gifts. As I stomped to my car, past the groups of clucking flower/balloon/chalky heart recipients, thoughts swirled through my head, ranging from “poor, poor, pitiful me” to “I bet if I catch that heifer off guard, I could grab her box of chocolates and make a break for it.”
Fortunately, my Mama raised me with self-control and I never did anything too irrational during my brief moments of pity, jealousy and annoyance.
AND… I am super happy to report that I really don’t feel the same way about Valentine’s Day anymore. Not because I have a husband, but because I am really not too attached to “dates” and “holidays” on the calendar. (Honestly, my husband is the Anti-Valentine’s Dayer… he thinks it’s some commercialized made up holiday. Spoken like a true man, right?)
My semi-indifference to Valentine’s Day is an acquired army wife skill. Today marks the third Valentine’s Day that my beloved and I aren’t together. And honestly… I’m ok with it. Due to his career in the army, we’ve missed varying numbers of Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, 4th of July, birthdays, etc. (Fortunately, he was present at our wedding. Whew.)
I don’t need flowers, chocolates, balloons or teddy bears from him. If I want flowers, I buy some cheap ones for myself. I don’t need chocolate… period. (Minus the stash in the top of my pantry.) Balloons are a little inconvenient, and who needs a teddy bear when you have an adorable Baby Dog? (Plus, I have a “date” tonight with one of my good girl friends and her kids… Complete with a recipe for chocolate avocado mousse. I will report back on that one after we see how it turns out.)
All I need for Valentine’s Day… well, any day for that matter… is my ultimate bridegroom… Jesus.
This goes for all us– single, dating, married, together or separated by duty. Christ is the ultimate romancer. His love is everlasting and eternal. He woos us, sweeping us off our feet! Jesus didn’t give us chalky candy hearts or an expensive bouquet of flowers… He gave us HIS LIFE.
So for everyone out there that is celebrating Valentine’s Day today, I go for it. That’s awesome. Romance rocks. But regardless of your relationship status, remember the most important love relationship…
Our relationship with Jesus… He loves us unconditionally, always keeps His promises, and gave up His Life for us.
Yep. That’s the ultimate lesson of love.
Sharing the Love,
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” — John 3:16 (MSG)