Awakening My Heart to Remember
By Christi Grimm
When my husband and I were in our 20s, Valentine’s Day was a big deal! We went overboard with flowers, cards, gifts, and dates. We desperately wanted to get it right; to make sure the other person was satisfied!
When we moved into our 30s, we realized Valentine’s Day didn’t have to occur on a particular day of the year but rather anytime. We began to “roll our eyes” at the commercialism of the Day of Love and were frankly irritated with all the hype. As we moved away from satisfying the other person ONE flowery day every year, we moved into the idea that we could shower the other person with gifts, flowers, and cards ANY day of the year. It was a freeing transition moving us into a more secure place of love as we celebrated each other throughout the year.
Now, we have reached our 40s, married for 20+ years, and our ideas have further evolved. In many ways, we have come full circle to where we started in our 20s—only it includes a deeper love and a more mature mindset. Valentine’s Day has once again become a special day to us. We work very hard to schedule an evening in the vicinity of February 14th for a special date.
Why would we go back to celebrating this Hallmark holiday? If I am secure in my husband’s love for me, and he in mine, what is the benefit of spending money on cards, flowers, or gifts? Is there really a point? If I was so adamant to boycott Valentine’s Day in my 30s, why would I pick it up again in my 40s?
The older I get, the more I realize how much I do not know and how prone I am to forget. The most prominent way I forget is within my heart. It tends to forget important things—God revelations, emotional revelations, and just love in general! Valentine’s Day is important to my marriage because it awakens my heart to remember.
Three ways Valentine’s Day awakens our hearts to remember:
1. It awakens my heart to express love toward my husband.
When we physically set aside time to show love to another person, whether it is a spouse, a child, or a friend, it reminds our hearts of what love can look like. Love can look like a special note, a thoughtful gift, or a deep conversation over dinner. Valentine’s Day reminds me to routinely and intentionally invest in relationships. It reminds me to remove myself from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life and pour love into those who mean the most to me.
2. It awakens me to the importance of dating my spouse.
If we aren’t careful, your spouse can become your roommate. Because we all live busy lives, it is rather easy to let regular dates fall by the wayside. For 10 years, my husband and I have made a habit of going on weekly dates together. When our children were younger, the dates were short and we sometimes had a nursing baby in tow. But we were intentional to remember the romantic love we experienced with each other during our 20s. These dates kept our romance alive and prevented us from becoming roommates. Valentine’s Day is another date—maybe even a spicy date—where we can be awakened to the importance of dating our spouse.
3. It awakens my heart to gratefulness.
Each time I sit down to write a note, send a gift, or do something special for someone, my heart is reminded of the blessing he or she is to me. Pausing to write, buy, and converse requires that our hearts slow down—that we engage with and think about that person. As our hearts slow down, we are awakened to the goodness that person possesses and we become grateful.
Gratefulness begets love, and the more grateful we become, the more love we can offer. If I am intentional to purchase a gift, write a note, or go to dinner with my spouse for Valentine’s Day, it provides the opportunity for my heart to slow down and remember all of God’s goodness in him, resulting in more gratefulness and more love.
Valentine’s Day in and of itself is not necessary. However, it is one more opportunity to intentionally pour love into those closest to us. Valentine’s Day can be as superficial and commercialized as you’d like. Or, it can be a pathway into deeper expressed love and gratefulness of the person God has given you.
Paul said it best when he spoke about love. In 1 Corinthians, he says, “What if I speak in the most elegant languages of people or in the exotic languages of the heavenly messengers, but I live without love? Well then, anything I say is like the clanging of brass or a crashing cymbal. What if I have the gift of prophecy, am blessed with knowledge and insight to all the mysteries, or what if my faith is strong enough to scoop a mountain from its bedrock, yet I live without love? If so, I am nothing. I could give all that I have to feed the poor, I could surrender my body to be burned as a martyr, but if I do not live in love, I gain nothing by my selfless acts. Love is patient; love is kind. Love isn’t envious, doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about. There’s no arrogance in love; it’s never rude, crude, or indecent—it’s not self-absorbed. Love isn’t easily upset. Love doesn’t tally wrongs or celebrate injustice; but truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight! Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what. Love will never become obsolete.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-8, The Voice)
Today, I encourage you to choose love. Choose to take the time to express love. Choose to awaken your heart to remember.
Make the decision to date your spouse. Get creative—day dates, baby in tow, short dates. Just date!
Write notes to your spouse to remind your heart (and your spouse!) what God sees in him.
Memorize 1 Corinthians 13 to become familiar with what love is.
Set a weekly reminder in your phone to do something creative to express love to your spouse.
Make a habit of hugging your spouse for at least 30 seconds daily.
Make a habit of audibly telling your spouse you love him daily.
Reminisce regularly with your spouse about your relationship.
Laugh together. A lot!
Remind yourself regularly that you are on the same team!
As much as possible, fall asleep together. Hold one another. Cuddle.
About Christi: Christi was born and raised in sunny central Florida where she still resides! Along with her husband, Christi keeps busy raising their children, traveling, and homeschooling. She is passionate about being a life-long learner, building relationships, and bringing God’s freedom to women through small retreats. You can find out more about her ministry at www.sixtyoneacres.com