Friday, February 12, 2010

Love Notes

Valentine's Day is upon us. T.V. ads bombard us with ideas for gifts of love and the way love should be rewarded; schemes are rampant, manipulation games are playing, and the "fix is in." Okay, so I'm being cynical. But are gifts of love important? Are declarations of love meaningful? Do actions really speak louder than words?

When I was an optimistic young wife, I tucked small notes of love into my husband's lunch box. I wanted to brighten his day, and let him know that I loved and appreciated him. Sometimes I taped small notes of gratitude to his shaving mirror, hoping to boost his spirits before he went off to work for the day.

He never acknowledged them. To this day, I don't know if he appreciated my love notes or, if in his mind, they were foolish drivel. Once I asked him if he got them. He didn't respond. A few weeks later, I asked him again. Still no answer. When I asked him again a few weeks later, he responded angrily: "Yes, I got them -- what do you want me to say?"

So much for romance. Needless to say, I stopped writing notes. These non-interactions formed the basis for our "non-communication" style which escalated into rounds of verbal abuse and silent treatments throughout our marriage. Each day climaxed painfully with him turning his backside to me without a kiss or a "goodnight" before going to sleep. It's no wonder that eventually our marriage crumbled.

Are love notes important? Are expressions and actions of love important? You'd better believe it!

The Bible tells us that we love God "because he first loved us," and gave himself for us (died for our sins) so that we could return to our heavenly home. The first and greatest commandment in the Bible is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength," and to "Love your neighbor as you love yourself," on this commandment hangs all the laws and the prophets. In other words, this command trumps all others.

The Bible itself is full of "love notes" from God. Like a loving parent, these loves notes (Espistles) teach us, warn us, and express God's love for us his children. Prayers are our love notes to God, expressing praise, thanksgiving and need. "God is Love," and love is an eternal principle.

Love is meant to last. But like an unwatered garden, love shrivels and dies without cultivation, tenderness, and care. So is Valentine's Day important or is it just "foolish drivel?" You decide.