Put Love Above.

A year ago, it was the weekend of Valentine’s Day and I had thought ahead and bought my wife some roses a few days BEFORE the day I would give them to her.  Pretty smart, huh?  Well, my mistake came when I thought that the trunk of my car wasn’t that dissimilar to a florist’s fridge.  And the results were disastrous….completely dead roses I handed to my sweet wife for Valentine’s Day 2010.

I’m actually in the middle of Valentine’s Day 2011.  You may think it to be romantic suicide to turn for even a moment away from my sweet thang to type a blog post.  But I’m taking my chances.

We’ve spent a wonderful day together (I took the day off) and did more before 10 a.m. than most people do all day.  Okay, a bit of an exaggeration; we had breakfast at Chick-Fil-A and rolled 2 games of bowling all before 10 a.m.  Not too shabby, eh?  The chicken biscuit was heavenly (as usual) and the bowling alley was virtually filled with nothing but senior citizens (our kind of people).

After knocking down a few pins, we headed up to Short Pump to do some window shopping.  We enjoyed a shared dish at Maggiano’s and then strolled hand-in-hand through this rare warm February sunshine.  We decided to fore go the swanky dinner out (and the jacked up V-Day prices) and instead get some pizza and spend the evening with our kids, who after all are a direct result of our love for each other.  Yep, love is definitely in the air.

And while I likely won’t be getting her flowers tomorrow like I did today (which were completely fine, thank you very much), there is simply no way around it: about this woman I am absolutely crazy.  In fact, if you spend any time at all with my wife and I, I hope you’d see that’s true.  I try not to cross the “Schmoopy” line into obnoxiousness, but every chance I get I tell her and anyone who’ll listen just how I adore this woman.

I learned from my mentor and friend Len Kageler this priceless piece of wisdom: “If you fail at home, you fail.”  And I’ll add to it, “If you’re marriage isn’t right, ain’t nothing right.”  That’s why no matter how extensive and fruitful my ministry becomes, it will never eclipse the critical importance of the strength of my marriage.  It is from that relationship that I draw so much strength and joy and encouragement.  It is in that relationship that I find security found in no other relationship on earth.  No amount of “success” can outweigh the success of a rock-solid marriage relationship.

Love is a decision that we make, more than an emotion that we feel.  It is when we don’t think of love in these terms that romance fades and marriages fail.  While I do certainly feel emotions of love toward my wife that are “involuntary” (after all, I’m not blind), these emotions by no means make up the foundation of what we have together; they are only a part of it.  It is the voluntary decisions that I make, based on the commitment I have made to her that have helped carry us over 15 years of wedded bliss, and I am counting on 50-60 more.

So, here’s to Valentine’s Day–even though it is pretty much a holiday concocted by greeting card companies and florists.  On this day, I’m so glad that for me, it bears a beautifully strong resemblance to every other day of the year.

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