Make Everyday Valentine’s Day

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Celebrating Valentine’s Day with that special someone in your life is a wonderful thing.  It is never a bad idea to let your significant other know how important they are to you.  February 14th, coming as it does just once a year, is a focal point for many to do just that.  So if you are getting a gift or taking him or her out to dinner, enjoy!

Having said this, let me tell you what my wife and I are doing on this St. Valentine’s Day: going to a hockey game! We truly enjoy these outings, so what better way to say “I love you” than watching our favorite team, the Syracuse Crunch, battle for a win.

You might think that’s not the most romantic endeavor you will hear about today, and you’re probably right.  What you need to understand is that my wife and I still love each other very much and we have learned over the years (36 and counting!) to let each other know it.  As special as Valentine’s Day is, we make the effort everyday to be that special someone to/for each other.

My perspective on our relationship is wonderfully described in Chapter 31 of the Book of Proverbs (if you have a bible handy guys, go read it. It may help you appreciate more the special gift your wife is to you).

Here’s a few excerpts from Proverbs 31, along with how Betsy personally lives these Scriptures out:

Verse 15: She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family

Betsy gets out of bed every morning at 5:30. She manages her time in this way to allow herself the ability to pray and read scripture and take a long walk with me and our Goldendoodle Violet.  She then goes off to work, Monday through Friday, to perform her many duties and responsibilities as a Senior Director at the largest not-for-profit human services agency in our area.

This verse I’ve quoted says how the Proverbs 31 woman provides food for her family.  As the sole income earner of our household, Betsy does that very thing. (Allowing me to stay at home and write this blog, among a few other things!) And she accomplishes this task, as she does everything else, we cheerfulness that only comes from having a deep and active faith.

Continuing with Proverbs 31:20

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

Betsy’s job in human services gives her the opportunity each day to fulfill this, and she does.  Yet her concern for the poor and marginalized does not end when her workday does.  She is very active in our ministry, Lakeside Christian Ministries.  She continually develops ways for us to reach those folks who seemingly have fallen through the cracks of society, caring for each one with the love she has for Jesus beating in her heart.  Betsy inspires me to make this same level heart commitment through her example of ‘no-quit’ love and hope for those she ministers to.

Though I could go on, allow me just one last verse from Proverbs 31 that expresses more of the blessing my wife is to me (and so many!)

Verse 26: She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

There are plenty of smart people in the world, but not all of them possess wisdom.  My wife does have both, and in abundance! Not only is Betsy one of the most educated people I know, she has the gift of explaining deep and complex things that allows others (like me) to understand.  Countless are the times I have brought a topic I was struggling with to her, asking for clarification.  I can think of no time when Betsy did not clear up my jumbled thoughts.

I am truly blessed by God to have Betsy as my partner.  I thank and praise Him everyday for this awesome gift.  My hope and prayer is that now that you’ve read this, you might be encouraged to make tomorrow, February 15th, a special day for that special someone in your life as well.

And by the way, we’ll be going to another Syracuse Crunch hockey game tomorrow night!

Blessings and thanks for reading,

Pastor Chuck

Perfect Love

 

I think Valentine’s Day is a great idea.  Taking the time to do something special for that special someone in your life is time well spent.  Just saying (and meaning) the words ‘I love you’ makes this day worthwhile.

I would suggest that in addition to February 14th, we take the time every day to let people know what it means to have them involved in your life.  Flowers and chocolate are nice, but intentional speaking and acting from the heart each day will carry a greater impact for all of us.

I am not so naïve, however, to think that this day is all warm and fuzzy for everyone.  Maybe you’ve lost that someone special and your heart feels heaviness instead of happiness.  Perhaps you’ve had your trust broken, or you have discovered that your feelings of love toward someone are not reciprocated.  In these cases, and many more, Valentine’s Day is a sad day indeed.

It is for those who find themselves hurting today that I share the following: Perfect love is still available!  Oh, you won’t find it in me or in any other person, because none of us is perfect.  But you can find perfect love from the One perfect being, our Awesome God.

The Bible describes God’s love like this: 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. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NIV).

I was taught early on in this faith journey that the words ‘always’ and ‘never’ are only completely true when applied to God.  Believing that makes those verses take on such a deeper meaning.  The love I am capable of feeling is so much less than the love God has for all of us.  This is no way to adequately compare human love to God’s love.

If human love has failed you, I am truly sorry.  Please do not allow that to prevent you from exploring the perfect love of God.  He does love you, right where, and exactly as, you are.  His love wants only to make you whole.  Today, why not let Him love you with His perfect love.  It is there for the receiving, the greatest gift you will ever get!