No, I wasn't even creative in my dislike. I just thought Valentines Day was a frivolity of commercialism brought on by greeting card companies, peddlers of roses, and chocolatiers. All through the years of dating and early marriage, my sweetie and I never celebrated Valentines Day, throwing the line of "we don't need someone else to tell us what day to say I love you" until...
A little life came into our home almost 6 years ago, followed by two more little lives in quick succession. As these tiny blessings grew and became aware of a holiday revolving around colorful hearts with messages of adoration, my heart changed.
Does our society of bigger is better lean to the side of commercialism around December 25?
Do we sprinkle in some bunnies and eggs filled with surprises come March and April each year?
Of course we do, and as we're enjoying those festivities, we keep our eyes on the cross and the Savior who conquered death to bring us new life.
So, I realized as I watched my children cutting out hearts and selecting Valentines for their preschool friends, why should February 14 be any different?
This year as I enjoy creating Valentine crafts like pillows and canvases, baking Valentine goodies or perusing beautiful Valentine projects on Pinterest, I'm no longer going to dismiss February 14 as a non-holiday. Instead I'm considering it a day to really love as I should all year, but not just the romantic love I share with my main man, my partner in life.
I'm going to love the seemingly unlovable this Valentines. I'm going to love a stranger this Valentines. I'm going to love the neighbor or coworker who is difficult to love this Valentines. I'm going to love you, my blog readers I most likely will never know face to face, this Valentines.
How, you may ask, will I love all these people? By the grace of my Creator, who is Love.
As I'm studying through the book of Nehemiah, I'm learning so much about my God who is full of kindness and who keeps his covenant of love to His children. In the English language, we have very few words to express love, so we throw it around lightly from "I love cookies" to "I love my husband". We know these uses of love hold different meanings (well, maybe not with cookies...they come pretty close!), but when you look at other languages, there are often multiple words to express different types of love.
Take Hebrew, for example. I do not profess to know much about Hebrew, but I am learning some of the roots of words to better understand Biblical text. The Hebrew word hesed means "unfailing love, loyal love, devotion, kindness, often based on a prior relationship". We see this word used throughout the Bible displaying God's love for us with the tangible benefits of protection, comfort, and provision we often feel at times we are in need of mercy.
What would our world be like if we all chose to love this way? What if we showed kindness and unfailing love to all we encounter, not just our special mate or our children?
Kelly Minter, author and speaker, writes in her book Nehemiah: A Heart That Can Break "His (God's) love compels us to love Him back with affection and obedience. It's a gracious circle that begins and ends with God, enabling us to love Him in return, a love that doesn't allow us to live cheaply but fully!"
She declares, "A bit of a mystery perhaps, but one worth embracing". I want to embrace that kind of love so I can pour into others each day and see love bloom.
Valentines Day has so won my heart that, who knows, you may even see a little romance around this house come February 14!
And now it's your turn: how do you make Valentines special?
You're Gonna Love It @ Kathe With an E