You might be surprised to learn that this romance author doesn’t love Valentine’s Day. Hold off on the pitchforks and mob for a sec, I’ll explain.
I don’t love Valentine’s Day for the same reason I don’t love Mother’s Day. See, my mom always used to tell us that while she appreciated the nice things we did for her on that special day, the sweet things we did the other 364 days of the year meant so much more. Now that I’m grown with a husband and kids of my own, I understand her logic. What good is a holiday if we don’t treat the ones we love with care and appreciation the rest of the year?
My husband agrees, which is why after nearly twenty years of marriage, I can almost guarantee I won’t be getting flowers on Valentine’s Day. We probably won’t even go out for a date until the weekend after because the restaurant crowds are insane (and this year, everything’s still closed in NM anyway). But I can guarantee that when I’m exhausted or just because he feels like it, my sweet man will bring home a bouquet or a Route 44 unsweet peach tea from Sonic. Or he might do the dishes without being asked. Or tell me to go ahead and escape for an evening despite his own exhaustion.
That’s romance in its truest form right there.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, and here’s why: it’s God’s plan for our lives. How? Because 1 John 4 says “God is love,” we are created in His image, and He repeatedly tells us to love one another. This passage defines for us exactly what we’re supposed to be doing, and not just with a romantic partner (let’s face it, sometimes they’re the hardest ones to love this way LOL).
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (NIV)
I’m including the NLT version as well because I like the subtle nuances between the language of both.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (NLT)
These are the traits I’m seeking to exemplify in my everyday life and interactions with others, how I’m trying to raise my children, how I even need to treat myself. 365 days a year. What does this passage whisper in your own heart?
If you’ve read any of my books, you’ve probably noticed how frequently I refer to this passage as my characters are growing in their faith and discovering how to get past their issues and love their special someone. This passage appears in What Makes a Home more than any of my other books. The words burrow deep into Jobie’s mind and heart and ultimately lead her to salvation, which changes her life from the inside out.
“Shouldn’t you be at work?” Jobie tried to keep her voice low but felt several pairs of curious eyes watching their every move.
“I took the day off. I have a Valentine project I’m working on.”
“Oh yeah? Hopefully, they’re giving you better advice than last week’s mess.”
Caleb shook his head, chagrin lighting his features. “I know, I know. I messed that one up. But I think you’ll actually like this project. Mabel and Pops have given their seal of approval this time.”
“Ooh! I’m intrigued. So… when do I get to see this project?” Her heart skipped like a pig-tailed schoolgirl.
Caleb grinned, a mischievous glint in his eye. “I could be persuaded to start Valentine’s Day a little early.”
“Mmmm. Does that mean you’re angling for an early birthday present, too?”
“That can wait. But I don’t think I can.” He rocked on his heels with an adorable bounce.
Jobie threw her head back and laughed. She took a step forward and tipped her chin up to him.
He dropped a soft kiss to her mouth.
She pushed him away with a soft laugh. “Get out of here, goober. I have a class to finish.”
“I’ll see you at five o’clock.” He tossed her a wink and strode out of the room with confidence.
She admired the view until Wanda’s “mm-mm-mm” made her blush. Yep, that was her thought, too.
“Okay, time to pack up, people! I’ve got things to do!”
Jobie smiled to herself. It was a good thing she really loved that goofball.
And that he loved her, flaws and all.
Here’s wishing you much love—His love—wherever you are, and not only for Valentine’s Day but every day of the year. I pray that you’ll walk in patience (which is SO HARD), kindness, humility, honor, integrity, justice, faith, trust, truth, hope, and perseverance in all of your relationships, romantic and otherwise.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Cor 13:13