I had a conversation with a good friend awhile back, who was lamenting about her current relationship. She complained about her boyfriend at the time, who she felt didn’t really care about her because:
- He didn’t indulge her tantrums
- He didn’t allow her mother and sisters to dominate his relationship
- He didn’t pay all of her bills or buy her whatever indulgence she asked for.
I admit to feeling horrified to hear this normally, sane, modern woman verbalize such selfishness. And while I was not a particular fan of said boyfriend, I had no doubt of his devotion to her or his commitment to their relationship.
- My friend has a chronic pain condition, among other medical problems and he took care of her tirelessly during her various medical crises, picking up prescriptions, literally bathing her when she couldn’t get in and out of the tub, massaging away her aches.
- She met him at the end of volatile separation and eventual divorce. He sheltered her and protected her against her ex-husband’s wrath. When she eventually moved out on her own, he purchased a houseful of furniture for her and her daughters.
- He went to work everyday and came home to her every night.
Love, I told her was so much broader and deeper that her current perception. If you base love on superficial, surface values, your love (and your perception of it) will be fleeting; it will come and go based on the presence or absence of things. That’s not love. . . that’s lust with a sugar daddy.
Real love comes from within, bedded in sacrifice, seeing things beyond your own selfish needs. It comes from the essence of who you are and what you’re made of. Loving another person makes you stronger; and being truly loved by another person makes you better. It’s not hidden behind rose-colored glasses but you see the person for who they are, flaws, warts and all and you see past that to love.
Valentine’s Day should not just be about flowers, candy and champagne. And yes, jewelry is always nice, it is not, nor should be the sole and true indicator of love and commitment.
1 Corinthians 13:4–8a
(New International Version)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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. Love never fails. (NIV)
Have a wonderful, loving day!