“To love is to be vulnerable.” -C. S. Lewis
In the past few days I’ve listened to countless people tell me that they weren’t celebrating Valentines Day this year. That they were going to do what they wanted to do (which sadly didn’t include their spouses). I should also note that all of these people I talked to have been married quite some time. I am not one to hide my honest nature so I told them how sad it was that they weren’t doing something together as a couple. Marriage should be a celebration of the love you have been given and not something to dread like a job that you don’t care for as you are just trying to get through the work week.
Even though Hallmark and Russell Stover have created it into an expensive day that people dread, it shouldn’t be a day that you have a strong aversion to, especially if you are married. Love is what brings two people together and even if that love isn’t as strong as it was once upon a time, that doesn’t mean you have to throw away the whole day.
This past week I have had some lovely married Christian women email me to tell me that even on a week like Valentine’s Day, that I am loved by the Lord and that is all that I need. I appreciate those married women and their encouragement to me but I think for most single people like myself it’s not just merely about being loved. It’s about finding someone who will do life with you, that person who stands with you through life. That’s what both married people and single people (who desire marriage) have in common, the desire to be in an intimate relationship. And to be honest the single life is not always the best life.
At this time of year there are literally thousands of articles written to singles about how to appreciate our time and how lucky we are to be “free” from the responsibility of being married. And although we do need to appreciate our time of singleness, married people need to appreciate their married life.
Single people who desire marriage are not looking to be free as some people like to call it. In fact, that is the opposite of what single people who desire marriage are looking for. These singles desire a responsibility to a spouse–to be accountable to another person and to be in fellowship with their spouse on a deeper level and more than what mere friendship can provide.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 (ESV)
In part, this is a post for married people to be encouraged to appreciate what you have. Because what you have is special and is a gift from God. Marriage is a wonderful thing and should be celebrated daily. Unfortunately our world tries to tell you a different message in that what you have is not good enough or that you should want what someone else has. That is an unfortunate tale from the dark side and I pray you don’t fall into that trap if you are married.
As a single person I pray you read the advice of how you can appreciate the love you have.
1) Relax. Please, please, please take time to just sit with your spouse. Talk about your dreams or just sit with one another quietly. Somewhere there is a single man or woman who would love to know whom they will marry and the idea of just sitting next to their future spouse would be heavenly.
2) Focus on the good and appreciate the spouse you have been given. Your marriage is never going to be perfect but it can still be good. You have a special relationship with your spouse that single people dream about. Knowing that you have someone that will go through life with you is amazing. Knowing you have a partner that will be there when times get tough or downright horrible is something to be celebrated.
3) Being intimate is both emotional and physical. As a married couple you get to experience the touch and nearness with your husband or wife. Single people don’t get to experience the deep level of trust that you have.
I don’t think marriages are celebrated enough on a daily basis. You shouldn’t stop celebrating your love just because the wedding reception ended. I pray that if you’re married that you see how blessed you are.