hidden glory

Sunday, February 11, 2007

In celebration of Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is coming up (ready or not), and I know for many people it's an occasion of sadness. Wishing there was that "special someone" to romance you like you've only dreamed of. Or maybe you're happy to be single...and it's just an unpleasant annual reminder that our world is often one that's couple-centric. I've definitely been there. And also at a place where sadness became bitterness as I remembered unrequited love on this annual Lovers' Day. It is also a holiday that's certainly been over-sentimentalized by Hallmark and our consumer-driven society.

All disclamors aside, I am personally excited about this Valentine's Day. It is good for me to have another day of the year especially dedicated to expressing my love and appreciation for my husband. Only 5 months into marriage, and I could see how easy it becomes to take love and marriage for granted. Or to get mad and disappointed because love and marriage don't live up to their promises (that our culture tells of perfect bliss and happiness). But were they meant to live up to these promises?

I don't think so. Love to another person will always hold disappointment at some level. Romantic and marital love is no exception! That is why we were made for a love that's eternal: that of God through Jesus Christ. The best of loves can only be experienced in the context of His love...a love that loved us first. A love that keeps loving us in the midst of our weaknesses and failings. A love that loves us enough to provide for our deepest need: that of forgiveness of sin against a God we've rejected. That's a love worth celebrating. Certainly more than once a year!

And it is in the context of this love that Seth and I are building our marriage. It's our only hope for truly being able to love one another. As Christ's love motivates and empowers our love for one another, we each experience more of His love. And so on this Valentine's Day, I celebrate in Seth the ways he's shown me Christ's love.

#1: By pursuing me when I was stubbornly independent and self-protective. His persevering love won me over...certainly by the time of this picture on last Valentine's Day, when he took me to Bistro Romano after giving me a dozen long-stem red roses, and then continued in his extravagance to give me a gift certificate for private dancing lessons as a Valentine's gift. Wow!

#2 Definitely by asking me to marry him...committing his life to mine, promising to love me "till death do us part." This is a picture from our engagement day in Central Park: 3/17/06.

#3: By having fun with me...and accompanying me on my busy social schedule, especially during our engagement. This picture is from my friend's engagement party in Delaware. He is wonderful at really getting to know my friends and engaging them in conversation. I appreciate that about him. And I certainly tested this ability many times!!

#4: By his tenderness and the way that he loves me even when I'm grouchy and grumpy. He finds a way to make me smile, like in this picture. :)

#5: By his protection and steadfast faithfulness. I know that he won't break the covenant promises he made to me on August 26, 2006, because he made them in the strength and sufficient grace of God. This is such an encouragement to me as I uphold this covenant of marriage with him. On the good days and even more so the bad days...!


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