As Valentine's Day approaches, are you sensing the hesitancy?
Are you tired of looking through cards that don't reflect what your dating relationship or marriage is really like? Or, are you dreading the day coming and going and you might not receive a card at all?
Many women I know don't look forward to Valentine's Day because they feel it shines a spotlight on what is wrong in their relationship or what is just plain missing in their life. Whether you're single or married, I feel for you. And in some ways, I can relate.
As my 20th Wedding Anniversary approached, I found myself agonizing over picking out the right card for my husband. After 20 years together, so many of the cards out there didn't sound like reality. A funny card seemed too trite after 20 years. A romantic card filled with all the things I said to him the first few years of our marriage sounded too gushy. The spiritual card sounded too serious. I ended up choosing reality and gave him one that talked of his support and friendship and about him being there through "life's challenges." I had to laugh when his card to me also mentioned the word "challenge."
My card hunt got me thinking about God, whom Isaiah 54:5 refers to as my "Heavenly Husband." What kind of card would I pick out for Him after 20 years together? Would I get him the card that says "You're my Knight in Shining Armor"? I've written books on how He truly is our Perfect Prince. It's true He's never let me down and like the cards say "I can't imagine my life without Him." Or would it be more appropriate to choose a card that talks about "weathering the storms together" and knowing that through it all His love has been there? I know that every perfect line I read in a greeting card is true of the Perfect Love, the Lord Jesus. In fact, picking out a card for Him would be quite easy.
But what if God were picking out a card for you or me? What if He wanted to express His sentiments to us after "all these years together"? You know, He already has...in several places throughout Scripture:
- God has given us the romantic card: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness" (Jeremiah 31:3).
- He has given us a card about sacrificial love: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
- He has given us a card of encouragement and support: "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).
And I can't help but think He would love to give us a funny card that reminded us, in spite of our actions at times, that He's never lost His heart for us.
To be honest, God would have every right to give me a card that said "In spite of the mess you've been most of your life, amazingly, I'm still here." Yet, instead of boasting on Himself, He would probably continue to dote on me instead, saying something like: "My eyes still see you as precious as the day you were born."
In Psalms 139:17 David, the Psalmist, sang: "How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand...."
How much does He love you and me? He has said, in so many words, "let me count the ways."
It's obvious to me that when it comes to a relationship with God, He's the shining star. He's the One who "puts up" with us. He's the One who patiently endures the relationship. He's the One who never gives up. He's the One who is committed to the end, who has secured our happily ever after with His own life. He's the One.
Would you like to open a card this Valentine's Day and read of your True Love's heart for you? Then open your Bible to Psalms 23 and read of how He shepherds your heart and cares for you when you're tired, restless, fearful or in need of comfort, like a lost sheep. Or turn to Ephesians 1 and read of all He's given you once you trusted in Jesus Christ for your salvation. Or read in John 15 of all that is yours as you abide in Him. Or relish Revelation 21 of His promise to come back for you in all His splendor and glory.
Don't let another day go by without realizing...and appreciating...just how much He pursues your heart. And this Valentine's Day, why not pick out the perfect card for HIM? Or better yet, write one out for Him in your own words and put it in a place where you can read it over and over again, and remember just how much He has pursued your heart. He's the One. Now let Him know.
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and author of several books, including When Women Walk Alone (more than 100,000 copies sold) When a Woman Inspires Her Husband, Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs, and When God Pursues a Woman's Heart. For more on her books and ministry, or for free resources to strengthen your soul or marriage, see her website: StrengthForTheSoul.com.
Publication date: February 5, 2013