It's Valentines Day! A day to express your love to your mate. But if you do it wrong you're in the doghouse. You better "go to Jared's," or at least spend a lot. The surprise must be good and it must make him or her feel like a million bucks.
Tomorrow's February 15th. On that day, life returns to normal. You may still love to look at the flowers on your table. But they will die. The enthusiasm for new things wears off quickly, so whatever the gift, eventually it's just another thing you own.
Oh boy, this is cynical! I simply feel bad for people who feel this pressure to perform on Valentines Day just because Hallmark says so and for women, in particular, who will be disappointed when they're not as filled up as their expectations demand. Or worse, those who don't "have a Valentine" and feel like there must be something wrong with them!
I want to be loved and cherished. Don't we all? I would be thrilled if my husband came home with a little surprise treat for me. If he doesn't, however, I'm sure that he loves me because of many, many other things that he does during the other 364 days of the year. (Thanks, Colin. I love you, too!)
Here's the truth, looking to our spouse, fiance, or boyfriend to consistently and completely fill us up will. never. satisfy.
I speak from experience.
It's a waste of time.
This morning, I read these words of Jesus in John 6:35,
"I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."
Jesus knows that we're looking to be filled up, and He told His listeners that He's it! How many times throughout our days do we turn to other sources: food, exercise, organizing something, music, activities, ... other people? None of those things are wrong in and of themselves. They are all wonderful gifts and some quite necessary for life. My pastor in Boston once described an idol as a good thing that we take and make the ultimate thing.
Isn't that the temptation on Valentines Day? To demand of an earthy lover something he or she can never provide?
We can have rich, satisfying, intimate relationships with them. But those need to flow out of our relationship with our Heavenly Lover. He alone can handle the depth of our need; our marriages reflect Christ's relationship with His Church.
So today, don't ask your love to be more than he or she can be. Go to your Heavenly Lover's feet, be fed by the bread of life, then go and pour into the sweet earthly lover God has given you. Start in the right place and you may just have a very love-ly Valentine's Day!