Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It’s Valentines Day… Again

One Valentine’s Day I was at my grandparent’s house when Grandpa proudly brought home a giant heart shaped box of chocolates for Grandma, just like he did every year. He set it on the counter in front of her and she cordially smiled and said, “Thank you.” I was very excited to see all that candy and wondered why she didn’t seem to be. What a grand gesture he made! Then I noticed that, just maybe, she seemed a little more like an obligation than his passion?

Just like Grandma I am not one of those predictable wives that wants the same gift every year. My interests are constantly changing. For a few years I really wanted Lowrey’s Chocolates and it was the only time of year I got them. Some years I longed for a rose, some years I craved a weekend away, one year it was a really soft caramel-colored stuffed bear. The point is my poor husband cannot cruise on this. He has to be in tune to me daily. You see, if I am wishing for chocolate covered strawberries and he gives me Whitman’s chocolates it just magnifies the fact that he is not intimate with me. Maybe life is too busy and pulling us in different directions, or maybe something else has taken the place of me being the apple of his eye. But something is off. And even though I will stay married and eat my yummy candy, I will probably have a little ping of sadness in my heart.

Intimacy is not quick, it is not easy, and it is not for cowards.

The husband and wife relationship is God’s way of showing us a glimpse of what our relationship with Him could be. The Holy Spirit is not saying the same thing to us year after year. We are growing and our world is constantly changing. If our conversations with God and our prayers are the same as they have always been, maybe we are causing that little ping of sadness in God, an unfulfilled longing, a missed connection. Maybe something else has taken priority in our lives and God is not number one. Maybe we are too busy or preoccupied running our own lives to daily connect and be intimate with our Heavenly Father.

Being together is not the same thing as being connected. A man can be in the room with his wife and not know what is going on in her heart that day. We know God is always with us. But unless we talk to Him and listen to Him we may never truly connect.

How wonderful a wife feels when her husband shows her that there is nothing more important than her and he will not allow anything to come between them or their time together? She can rest in his love. She can feel safe and she will bloom. And her greatest desire becomes blessing him. And the cycle of love spirals upward.

Yet God has done that very thing! He will not allow anything to separate us from his love. But we have free will. What will we allow? Will we protect our time with God? Will we turn our thoughts to Him? Will we cultivate a love that spirals ever upward? Just like the wife, the Holy Spirit longs for true intimacy. After all, we are the church, and the church is the bride of Christ. Is there anything more intimate than that?

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