I admit it. I'm a Valentine's Day Grinch.
I don't like the commercialization of love or the marketing scam that says that you can somehow make up for months of relationship neglect by spending a big wad of money at Zale’s. I do like chocolate (dark), but the last thing I need is a huge box of it around my house. I'm no big fan of heart jewelry or stuffed animals or lacy lingerie or cut flowers that die and have to be thrown away in a few days. I really don't like doilies or ruffles... and I especially don't like PINK anything!
I'm not your typical "girly" girl ... and I have struggled with that much of my life.
Especially in my marriage, I have often felt pressure to squeeze into a mold that does not fit me. Thankfully, that pressure does not come from my husband - just the opposite (!) - but it does come from others who assume - and promote - that certain generalities and stereotypes are - or should be - true for all. Some of the pressure I have put on myself.
Some seem to believe that there exists a sort of all-inclusive pink, ruffled, girly way that make all woman feel loved... and some definite blue, rugged, manly ways for all men to love.
Similar to how Valentine's Day is sold as the perfect version of love for all:
boy buys sweet card and pink flowers + girl feels loved = happily ever after. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
It's just not like that for everyone - and certainly not for me or my marriage. After many years, I've finally realized that it's ok not to fit into all the generalities and stereotypes. God has created me uniquely and perfectly the way I am. Pink ruffles and jewelry and heart shapes are truly GREAT love gifts for some... just not for all women... and definitely not for me.
I prefer to use 1st Corinthians 13 as my love model:
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;
love does not brag and is not arrogant,
does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own,
is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NASB)
No lace or doilies or stuffed animals mentioned. :)
My husband has worked very hard for almost 30 years to love me this way - kind and not seeking his own interests first, patient and not arrogant, forgiving and believing the best... and I try to do the same for him. Now that speaks love to me!
Have you ever felt pressure to fit a stereotype or role that didn't work for you?
What demonstrates true love to you?
How can you use your uniquely perfect self to show love to someone today?