By Mary Mays
Contributor at Cross Moms
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John3:1
Valentines Day 2011 was one of the best days I can remember. I’m a sucker for romantic gestures but I’ve probably watched one too many chic flicks, so my expectations aren’t always the most realistic. My husband, bless his heart, tries, but typical romance is not exactly his strong suit. He’s great at loving me though, and he knows that romance is one way I receive love, so he works at it.
Anyhow, on Valentines Day 2011, he outdid himself. When we discussed our plans, he asked what I wanted to do. I told him I’d love a home cooked meal – that I didn’t feel much like going out. When I got home from work – I was surprised and amazed. I walked in the door, and was greeted by a red balloon with a note that read, “Pop me”. I popped the balloon and inside was a note that said, “Continue popping the balloons up the stairs for a list of a few things I love about you.” I popped each one, and read, with tears, something my husband loves and appreciated about me. Then, in our room was the last balloon, which was a message that sent me on a scavenger hunt throughout the house, looking for a variety of sweet gifts. I giggled, like a school girl, as I ran throughout the house, finding my surprises. I also realized, the house was spotlessly cleaned (a vast improvement from it’s state when I had left for work that morning). My wonderful, sweet, loving husband had taken the day off, cleaned the house, and then planned and executed this incredibly romantic idea. I was amazed.
This past weekend, we moved out of our house, and into my parents for the summer. My husband packed until midnight on Friday, while I slept, exhausted from a week of packing, entertaining, teaching and being a mother. Saturday, he worked tirelessly, doing the manual labor of moving, loading and unloading boxes and furniture. Sunday, he helped clean our old house, as I tended to our sick child. Then, Monday, on his day off, he changed the oil in both our cars, and helped change my sister’s brake pads. My husband has worked diligently the past few months – preparing the house to go on the market, fixing things as dictated by the home inspection, preparing for our move – all while working full time and being a wonderful husband and daddy. And he did it so I can stay home with our son next year.
There were no red balloons, no sweet notes, and no presents this weekend, but my husband’s acts of service were more romantic, and demonstrated more love to me than anything else could have. His sacrifices on behalf of our family were tremendous, and I am so grateful. I fell asleep this past Saturday night thinking about how I haven’t felt a lack of “romance” lately, even though, tangibly, there haven’t been any great gestures. That “typical” romance wasn’t needed. I went to sleep with a deep, satisfying comfort – an assurance of and security in my husband’s love for me.
Then I thought about how it’s the same with God. Sometimes, he demonstrates his love with big, romantic gestures – those moments, like my Valentine’s Day, where he communicates with red balloons and love letters to us. Other times, it looks different. He shows us his love through the help of a friend, the beauty in nature, or even, sometimes, in his discipline. I’m learning to love and appreciate all of the ways my husband communicates love to me – and am trying to do the same with God. What ways does God show you love that you struggle to recognize? Look for signs of his love toward you this week – it’s all around!
Thank you for my wonderful husband, and how you use him to teach me about your love for me. Thank you that he loves me the way that Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her. You are so good, and you love me so perfectly. Please open my eyes to see your love, regardless of how it is demonstrated towards me.