Love, Indefatigable

Oh, Valentine’s Day. It seems like most people either love it or hate it. Which way do you think he’s leaning? Ha.

So now that another Valentine’s Day has passed, are you thinking “Phew, glad that’s done with.” or are you of the “Man, I wish every day was Valentine’s Day!” camp?

I like chocolate as much as a lot more than the next person. I’m also a sucker for flowers, little notes, and fantastic dinners out (movie dates, balloons, and jewelry I don’t really get, but that’s quite possibly just me). That being said, I find Valentine’s Day a little odd, like it’s missing the mark just a bit.

Yes, of course we should celebrate the people we love and make sure they know we love them! The confusing thing to me is the idea that love requires this grand expression, like we don’t take it seriously unless it’s proven by something sparkly and expensive that we can share on instagram and get a hundred (secretly jealous) likes of the picture on facebook. Valentine’s Day gifts and schemes are nice and all, but one great gesture does not a relationship make.

“Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.”

– Mother Teresa (who else?)

Sure, maybe what we want is to show off or even just see that we are appreciated spelled out loud and clear for one day. But what we need in our homes — every day — is love that turns off the tv and does a load of dishes. What we need is love that makes a double batch of a meal and delivers the extra to a neighbor. We need love that pockets the phone and plays puzzles and wrestling with the kiddos. Love that smiles even at the end of a long day, or a long argument discussion. Love that answers question 483 as patiently as question 1. We need love that forgives, not one time, every time.

On one hand it’s a bit of a relief to accept that we don’t have to write a famous sonnet or park a gift in the driveway wrapped in a bow the size of a small person in order to express genuine love. On the other hand, if you have any doubt that modern-day love is easily tired, a quick view of the divorce rate should clear things right up. Momentum is hard to maintain; all the forces of nature are against it, and very few of us can claim to excel at perseverance. But if our loved ones are worth celebrating on Valentine’s Day, they’re worth the effort the rest of the year as well. No matter what you were able to give or receive on Valentine’s Day, loving faithfully doesn’t mean adding a diamond to the collection every day of the year. It’s a smile, it’s sharing the load, it’s a kind word spoken even if you suspect the other person knows it without being told.

We need love to motivate the care of all our little tasks and big responsibilities throughout the day. It’s not grocery shopping; it’s love through planning, budgeting, and nourishing your family. It’s not putting one foot in front of the other to get out the door for another day of drudgery work; it’s love through providing for your family, giving, and spending wisely.

Whatever your day entails, it doesn’t have to be a string of mundane tasks. See it for what it is: the product of love, indefatigable.


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