I really wanted to have this post up in time for Valentine’s Day, but now it’s Valentine’s Night and I am just sitting down to write it.
I’ve spent a inordinate amount of time lately thinking about my babies falling in love. I had quite a preoccupation with the idea, and so did their daddy, so I imagine we’ll be dealing with this much sooner than we’d like.
I know I want to somehow, someway, express to them what all maturely married people eventually learn: love is not about that “in love” feeling. But how can you learn this without being married? Before marriage, did you really grasp, at all, how few of your needs your spouse would fully meet? I didn’t. I wanted to be in love…all consuming, easy, head-over-heals, l-o-v-e.
Am I saying that I never have loving feelings toward Papa Bear? Of course not. I have them all the time. Sometimes, admittedly on rare occasions, I still get a little giddy and breathless just hanging out with my man. But we’ve certainly learned the hard way that our marriage is not a joy ride of endorphins and pheromones.
And I’m glad.
Before marriage, wise married women told me that I should look to Jesus as my husband. I shamefully admit that this idea made me gag. I know now that I did not understand what they meant, but I’m currently at a loss over how they could have done a better job of explaining the concept. See, I thought that a romance with Jesus meant that I would never be married, and “Hey, why won’t I get married!?” What turns out to have been the greatest counsel of my life was always received with a hint of insult.
But now I know.
Jesus is the ultimate lover. He is exactly what our husbands are called to be (but will never fully become). He laid down His life for us, He loves us passionately, and He always has our best interest in mind (not our comfort, but our best). A romance with Jesus doesn’t prevent us from loving in a human sense. No, it enhances our human romance (i.e. marriage) by teaching us how to love.
If we can learn to receive from Jesus we will not overburden our human partner. They cannot be our everything, and expecting them to be will only destroy us.
A romance with Jesus has changed my outlook on life. When Papa Bear slams the front door, hides dirty socks under the living room chairs, disrobes down the hall with no intention of picking up his clothes until work the next day…I might go to him about the “issue,” but first I take it to Jesus. If nothing else, going to my perfect groom helps me to gain a little perspective. I mean, faced with Jesus I’m no prize either. It’s good for me to remember that.
So, on this cold Valentine’s Night, as I’m about to cuddle up with Papa Bear and watch chick flicks until we fall asleep, I just want to say this: I love my husband, and he loves me. But he’s not my everything. He can rest easy in that; and I can rest in the arms of Jesus.
Happy Valentines Day.