Another Valentine’s Day

“Here’s my funny one.” Tom handed the card to me, and I opened it. I laughed out loud.

“Here’s my serious one,” I said, handing it to Tom. He smiled.

We looked at the grocery store rack a while longer. I picked a hilarious one for him, and he picked a serious card for me. It made me cry.

We kissed, put them back in the rack and walked out of the store.

It’s a tradition with us. Needless to say, we don’t buy Hallmark stock.

Rarely, do we buy gifts. Sometimes, we do when we really need or want something. As we’ve aged, what we need and want has diminished along with our hair and eye site.

It’s been thirty years this September. I can’t remember most of it. We were too busy trying to pay for the stuff that we had. Now, we want less stuff. A lot of time was invested in our children, and now they are grown.

We’ve realized that our marriage isn’t built on stuff, or even our children, but it is fragile. We’re taking some time to re-evaluate our covenant relationship. “A marriage tune-up,” of sorts. It’s a good thing.

Businesses do it annually. Why not marriages? We aren’t going to break any contracts, or bring in a new partner, we’re just trying to make ours the best that it can be. For surprising reasons.

The marriage relationship is a picture of Christ’s relationship to the church. A foreshadowing. The husband sacrifices and loves, the wife serves and respects. Not perfectly on this earth. But when those both within the church and outside of the church see a marriage where that is happening, they take notice.

They see through our marriage to the covenant maker, our bridegroom, Jesus Christ.

Jesus said in Luke 14:26-27, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life,  he cannot be My disciple.”

Jesus didn’t mean hate hate. He meant that our love for our family pales in comparison to our love for Him.

Strange, when that happens, our love for our spouse grows. It grows because it is not human love, but divine.

We exchanged cards and we’re sharing our lives. It’s all good.

One day, there will be something immeasurably better.

In the meantime, don’t tell the grocery store.


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