Tomorrow is the big day. The day everyone talks about love, tells everyone they know that they love them, sends cards and flowers and candy. A whole day dedicated to love. But you know what? If you think about it it's what led up to this day that makes you think about love.
Think back on the last year. Look at your husband: it's everything that has happened in the last year between you that brings you to this place where you're ready to declare undying love. It's the mornings the alarm didn't go off and you both run around like crazy trying to get ready for work and you run into each other trying to get out the door and giggle like school children. It's the times in the middle of the day when one of you calls or texts the other just to say, "I'm thinking about you .... how's your day?" It's the times you're both too tired to cook dinner and someone says "I'll pick up a pizza." It's even the arguments over who's going to bathe the kids..."you do it tonight and I'll do it tomorrow night" and "no, it's not my turn, it's your turn." And it's even the "oh my goodness I forgot to pay the electric bill" just as the lights go out. And it's the times that you sit in the audience as your child sings Jingle Bells on the school stage or in the stadium as your little one tries to put a ball in a basket that's so far above his head he can barely see it....when you turn and look at each other and marvel that together you made this impossibly beautiful, mischievious, energetic, irritating, temper tantrum throwing, drama queen or truck-driving child.
Valentine's Day is like the icing on the cake but everything leading up to that day is the steak and potatoes. That steak and potatoes is what insures that you can look at that man walking around in his underwear and socks and baseball cap and think, I..love...this...man.
In our every day we see the good and the bad and the in between. In our every day we see the responsible person who pays the bills and picks up the dry cleaning and makes decisions about insurance and savings accounts. Oh, we also see the person who buys way too many fishing baits, the one who watches too many ballgames or episodes of 24, who never cries at all and never, never says he's sorry. But at the end of the day he is there, loving us, giving us his favorite football jersey to sleep in, the keys to his beloved truck so we can haul playground equipment for the primary school project, and with no hesitation, his heart.
If my husband gives me a Valentine's Day card I will love it. If he gives me flowers I'll know he's sick (he's not a believer in flowers!). If he gives me candy I'll know he's craving chocolate. But if he gives me none of these it's not important. He's given me the best that he has. He's given me his love, his loyalty, his respect and his time. Every day. However, he has given me one gift that is better than all of these. He is a man who loves the Lord and loves doing the work God has set aside for him. He has set an example for our children that, if followed, will make them the kind of parents God expects us to be. My parents were married 63 years when my father died. I will never forget my mother saying, "is this all I get?" Sixty three years wasn't enough. And if we live long enough to be married 63 years it won't be enough for me either.