Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Love-Hate Relationship with Valentine's Day

I have a confession to make....I have a slight disdain for Valentine's Day. Oh, I adore celebrating love. My mantle is decorated, my front door adorned, my table set all with pinks and reds and hearts. I love love. I love having an out of the ordinary day of red velvet heart shaped pancakes and candlelit dinner with my family of 5. What I hate is the superficial demand placed on men to buy flowers and chocolates and bears. It's become a comparison game of whose husband does the best; my husband is better than yours, he bought bigger flowers, better chocolates, so I must be loved more than you. Nonsense. I'd rather have 365 days of thoughtful, faithful, simple love than one day of "I better get her something or I'll be in trouble" love. Why can't we see that this absurdity all derives from our need for validation? If I get an over the top, romantic gift, I am incredible. If he fails, I'm nothing. Perhaps that's slightly extreme, but for many women it's precisely true. Several years ago, I chose to take a different approach to this beloved day. After all, I can't walk away from the delight of decorating for this sweet day! As a family, we celebrate God's love on this day. Not to sound overly spiritual. But, after all He is love, the author of this incredible gift. Apart from Him, love is a self-seeking, self-serving pursuit of empty romance. I celebrate my husband on this day, but through the lense of God's love for me. We would have nothing if it were not for God's love for us and in us. And I will be delighted when I do not receive flowers and chocolates ( I told him years ago to stop wasting the money....seriously. And no, I do not get my feelings hurt. They really aren't allowed on this day.). I want my kids to know lasting love, Song of Solomon love. I do not want their concept of love to be formed by the hopeless idea this world offers. So, tonight we will play Valentine's minute to win it and we will have a candlelit fondue dinner for five and we will teach them from God's word about God's love, true love, Song of Solomon love. And everyday, through the good and bad, they see their dad love their mom. And they know it's because of Him. And I pray that we drive them to pursue the God who is love and gives love. Only in Him is love fully, wholly, found and only through Him do these earthly, fallen relationships provide a measure of joy and wonder and romance. We have this all backwards. We've traded His love for other love. The love we are given in this life are to be glimpses, not replacements, of His great love. My prayer for my precious 3 children is that they would know the width and length and depth and height of the love of Christ that passes all understanding.

"Let me hear, in the morning (and every morning), of your steadfast love." This is our hope as women. When we awake, each day, to the reality of His steadfast love, we are not desperately hoping for the love of another.

Have a blessed Day of Love. I hope to post next week about our festivities for the day. The kids are out of school Friday and Monday so I'll not be on here for a few days.

UPDATE: It's Easter and I'm finally posting pictures of our Family Fondue Feast!

We feasted on a candlelit cheddar fondue dinner complete with steak strips, shrimp, potato logs, pretzel bread sticks and roasted veggies! I froze pink punch as ice cubes to put in our sprite :)

All food items, of course, were found on sale/reduced (fine dining done on the cheap delights me!). This was a very simply supper and the kids raved! This was a memory they won't soon forget.

We had to let our stuffed tummies settle so we played 5 rounds of heart themed Minute-To-Win-It games! Abbi was the overall winner! This was not all hearts and love as I have a competitive crew, but we did share lots of laughs!

We ended our family fun with indulgent dessert! Chocolate fondue with strawberries, heart marshmellows and red velvet cake balls. Oh my, it was divine! Again, this was super simple (and cheap) which was all the more delightful :)

Oh yes, that is Abbi turning our candlelit dessert into a marshmellow roast!

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