I hope you are having a wonderful day celebrating the ones you love. My husband slept in this morning, which is a rarity for him. I woke up fully rested just before 8, and when I opened my eyes, his gorgeous baby blues were staring right at me. This is how Valentines should begin.
But I’ve been thinking about what makes our relationship work. Our first date was February 21, 1991. And we’ve had twenty-nine years of cracking each other up, of bouncing big ideas off each other, laughing till our faces have hurt. We’ve had more than eighteen years of parenting. It is the hardest, most rewarding part of life together. But if you are with someone for almost three full decades guess what else you have a lot of? Opportunities to forgive. Was it Ruth Bell Graham who said, “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers?”
Because that is TRUTH. Sure, we are better individuals than we were in 1991. We are more serious about our faith and a whole lot wiser, but that doesn’t mean that 2020 hasn’t already had its own hiccups. There have been things said even in the last six weeks that are regrettable. We are fallen people and we don’t get through a day without sinning. No one on earth can attest to Will’s faults like I can. Likewise, no one is as familiar with the damage of my acid tongue the way Will is, and that is just one of my many shortcomings. But at the end of the day, love is always a choice worth making.
Love is patient. Love is kind. It forgives. It is not the victim.
Okay, that’s a paraphrase, but it’s true nonetheless. You know what the victim does not do? The victim does not laugh. Laughing has saved our marriage, and that’s not an overstatement. I mean, it has saved us in the short-term — in the midst of a tense situation. And it has saved us in the long-term — meaning the daily laughs bind us together in a supernatural way. I don’t need to explain it. I just know laughing together for all these years has knit us tight.
So, Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope it is full of laughs with all your special people.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV
I hope you’ll love others well this weekend, even when it’s more of a choice than a feeling.