True Love over the (love) day.
♥️Roses and chocolate; greeting cards and dinner reservations; a celebration of “happily ever after.” Those are the things we think about when we think about love and Valentine’s Day. The long lines at restaurants even when you have a reservation. The fixed menus, and tables pushed close together so everyone can get in their one special date night a year. Why do we wait until February 14th to show people how much we care for them?
Love is not built around, or amplified on Valentine’s Day, but should be an overflow of God’s love for us. The tender care of our marriages, families, and friendships should demonstrate what real love is — not on a certain day in February, but every day.
Love doesn’t mean perfection: no arguments, no questions. It doesn’t mean we always see eye to eye or never have doubts. Contrary to what most young couples might assume, love will not always be easy. Feelings may grow and change. Love takes work. Love is a choice.
Love means no matter how our opinions differ that we know we are always on the same team, that we are for each other. We should listen and trust each other. Love means no matter how difficult seasons may be, we pray for each other and champion our spouse. Love means in sickness and in health, until death due us part…
For those of us in a season of waiting or grief, that last phrase may have a more personal sting: “in sickness and in health.” When we stand before God and vow to love our spouse, through anything, we are signing up for a big commitment, one we cannot fulfill on our own. Taking those vows, we pledged, no matter what the future holds, I will love my husband/wife completely.
The weight of that promise can seem hard these days, right? There are seasons in marriage where this vow seems simple, but infertility can test our resolve with this vow.
May I challenge you:
- How are you choosing to love your spouse through this trial, hurt and “sickness?”
Are you loving them because “you are one and you’re called to love them like your own body or like Christ loves the church”? Or are you loving them with the pressure of a desired outcome; using each other's body to make a baby, not love and wholeness as a couple.
Are you putting your spouse before yourself: Serving them, caring for their needs, encouraging them and wanting to know how their day was when they come home from work? Or are your thoughts always so consumed by inward doubts, fears, the calendar cycle and next doctor’s appointment, that you can barely see beyond the “now”?
Dear friends, please don’t read this as a giant call to remind you how hard this season is and that you “stink at life” in yet another way… this is a reminder on the Day of Love in our country, about what TRUE Love looks like and how we can grow our marriages deeply, especially in the midst of difficult seasons.
TRUE LOVE laid down his life for his friends. You and me. TRUE LOVE laid down his very own Son. He’s not all talk, but action too. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
TRUE LOVE allows us to doubt and welcomes us into His arms anyway… “so come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16
TRUE LOVE prayed and put all of his requests before God; even pleading for his circumstances to be different. But ultimately, he submitted to God’s will, His plan: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
TRUE LOVE is not so worried about our own plan or timeline that we miss actually seeing people. Look at Luke 8:40-55 about how Jesus’ apparent “detour” allowed him to heal two women, not just one.
Friends, be encouraged to love fully, and truly on this Valentine’s Day. Love your spouse, family, and friends as Jesus would. See them as He does.
Be intentional. Do not waste your story, or the opportunities God has given you to share it. Lean into this current season, trusting that the ultimate Giver of love and life is on your side!
> Caitlyn Joiner (WiH Contributor) Caitlyn is a lover of Atlanta, Georgia where her and her husband, Chris reside and serve in full-time ministry alongside their 2 girls. Their journey included primary and secondary infertility due to PCOS.