Thinking Out Loud

February 13, 2009

February 14: A Day for Lovers and Florists

Filed under: Christianity, family, marriage — Tags: , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:51 pm


Twenty-two years ago, Valentine’s Day also fell on a Saturday.   It was bitterly cold and  I was heading to a special noon Saturday event at our church for which someone had forgotten to turn on the heat.   But I’m glad I went, because it was our wedding day.

Having your anniversary and Valentine’s Day coincide each year brings some challenges.   At first, my lovely bride thought perhaps she was being shortchanged on any cards, or flowers or chocolates that might be coming her way.    On the other hand, I was growing weary  of putting on boots and scarves and gloves and hats; and scraping ice rain off the car, so that we could go to a nice restaurant on the very night they were completely overbooked and overburdened.

So we decided that we would observe the anniversary part of the day on a six-month offset basis on August 14th.   We live in Canada, but we live adjacent to a beach town (yes, I know “Canadian beach town” is certainly an oxymoron) where we can go for a walk along the boardwalk after dinner downtown.   We don’t get to do that every year, but try to put something like that together.   No matter how crazy the day has been, I try to get myself in ‘vacation mode’ for that brief dinner; an ‘echo’ of what our lives would be like if circumstances didn’t make things so stressed.

But you know, it doesn’t matter what day it is, every day is a day to celebrate the joy of having someone else with whom to share life; even on those days it seems like nothing is going right and nothing will ever go right again.   I think our worst days together are better than our best days had God not brought us together.

As I write this, I realize that among my readers are the single, the separated, the divorced and the widowed.   I don’t know what your perception is of Valentine’s Day in general or what I’ve written in particular, but maybe you wish this day would just go away.   I believe however, that while much has been written about the spiritual sense of love; the God of love; we are sometimes missing the true impact concerning the spiritual sense of relationship; the God of relationship.

It was only recently brought home to me that part of the concept of the triune God that we call the doctrine of the Trinity is the idea that there is a relationship within the Godhead between the Father and the Son, the Father and the Spirit, the Son and the Spirit; a relationship which has existed before the dawning of what we call time.   We serve a God who is a God of relationship and we who are Christ-followers are partakers in an overflow of love from that internal relationship first and foremost.  Out of that, God extends the offer of relationship to us.

Here’s how I put it in a song written nearly 30 years ago:

Now the feelings we have for the ones that we love
Were established in heaven by God above
As a preview for the day when from his throne on high
He calls a bride to a groom and a groom to a bride

So while I am thankful for my wife and what we have accomplished together; I am astounded to think that earthly marriage is just a hint of something better, yet to come.

By all means, have a Happy Valentine’s Day, but remember this is just a model of something else, a foretaste of glory divine.

Oh yes… Ruth, your gift is in the fridge.   Or at least it will be.

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