Valentine’s Day and thoughts about relationships…

Ever find yourself speaking with someone, having absolutely no ugly intentions and the next thing you know they are filling your ear with words that hurt your heart and trouble your mind? I’ve had the experience more times than I can count and it doesn’t seem to get any easier for me with age.

Seems I often call my day into a quick review as if trying to find a thread to link something I did or said to the moment of offense. In other words, I’m trying to make sense of what has happened. I hate discord and try to avoid it. I surely don’t seek it out and yet it finds me…

It’s very hard for me to feel loved by people who hurl verbal darts my way. Always seems to indicate hostility, which to me translates into something far less than love. Several years ago after being in a hurtful relationship for a period of time, I remember dwelling on this very subject…love. So many people will say “I love you,” yet the behaviors displayed are far from loving. I began to look at love as something very different from an emotion. Instead, I started considering love to be those things that are lived out, in other words, loving actions. All the declarations of love in the world are empty and void apart from loving, respectful action. I’m no fool, though there are many things I don’t understand, I know that love not practiced I had rather not hear preached.

Oh…relationships, those ties that connect us to one another, they surely are ties that bind. Disappointment always makes me recognize those relationships that aren’t disappointing, those that endure lovingly through the storms of life and never wound, never harm, never leave you wondering where you stand.

I’m thankful today, on Valentine’s Day for my quiet, gentle husband. He worked out in the cold yesterday, left home around 5:30am and didn’t return until almost 8pm. He came in with a sweet smile, ate his dinner with an openly appreciative and thankful heart. He didn’t speak a complaint or unkind word, just a few things he shared and then off to bed we went. So little time, it seems, that we have together anymore, but thankfully our times are times of peace. We have trust. He loves me, I love him, and we’re committed. Forgiveness is a given when either of us has a bad day, forgets to do something we were supposed to, or just don’t feel like our usual selves. It’s a sweet way to live. We are far from perfect, but we are perfectly loved. I wish everyone could say the same…

I truly believe the greatest reasons for peaceful homes and rewarding marriages has to do with gratitude. Are we thankful for the blessings we’ve been given? Do we honor the Lord by caring for those in our lives? It really doesn’t matter what we have, if we aren’t thankful, we won’t be satisfied. It’s sad that so many live without giving thanks, without recognizing what has been provided, given to them.

Oh, I could go on and on and on about relationships. We all have many. Some good, some difficult, and many in between, but the most important thing to remember is that we aren’t promised another day, not even another moment with those we call family and friends. Time is a precious gift to be cherished and we should be sure we are spending it genuinely loving and not harming those close to us.

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