Buying Love

As Valentine’s Day approaches, I can appreciate a little consumerism and commercialism: Sweethearts and sweet sayings get me sappy, sentimental, and spending.  For our 8th Valentine’s Day as a couple, I’ve requested that Wade show his devotion to me by busting out the paint brushes.  If you share similar feelings regarding painting a home, then you recognize the magnitude of the gift I am requesting.  Tonight, the boys are in their beds and Wade is up on a ladder… surely rotting his teeth out with loads of candy hearts as he quietly covers our walls in “Woodrow Wilson Putty.”

That’s love, folks.  And yes, I married a saint (with a sweet-tooth).

Saints… I really enjoy their inspiring stories. These people were just like us—though frequently full of wisdom and typically excelling in virtue, all share a deep love for Christ.  There are several questions and even more stories attributed to St. Valentine (a patron of beekeepers!), although most agree that he was a priest in Rome sometime in the 3rd century.  One tale attributes his imprisonment and subsequent martyrdom to him helping Christian couples marry during a time of extreme persecution.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day—amongst all the roses and chocolates—let us remember what a gift  marriage is, and also recall a lesson from economics: The value of something is what another is willing to pay.  Did you catch that ending to the story of St. Valentine?  Early Christians were willing to die for Christian marriage!

As a mom of tots, I enjoy the simplicity of a Valentine’s Day celebration of “love.”  It is pleasant to see couples, families, friends, and neighbors expressing their appreciation for one another.  I’m all about making and sending valentines to our little friends, decorating heart cookies, and dancing in the kitchen.  While the memories are darling, and our dear ones are beyond precious–all the glitter and glued cards and even diamonds aren’t actually love.  So what is? Jesus is love (1 John 4:8).  True love keeps us united, grace-filled, and content.

February 7th marked the beginning of National Marriage Week.  Let’s celebrate and recognize the blessing of this sacrament and encourage others who are in or seeking this vocation.  Let us mourn beside those who have been hurt by a broken bond.  We have The Redeemer…  May we share Christ with all who are despaired, and invite Him to be the center of all of our relationships. As believers in Christ, marriage represents the mystery of the gospel in a tangible, breathing, human form.  May our Christian marriages be visibly different than other marriages. May we fortify those relationships with prayer. And may we always remember the value of true love, and what price Jesus was willing to pay for it.

If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:1-8 (NABRE)

Happy Valentine’s Day! #wordslikehoney #nationalmarriageweek




Author: Neena

When not chasing after her two joyful little boys, Neena enjoys beekeeping, a good cup of coffee, and writing on her blog, “Words Like Honey” ( Neena has spent much of the last decade traveling with her husband, Wade, a former professional baseball player. Throughout the 29 changes of address and the stresses of moving a young family, Neena learned to embrace the peace that only comes from the steady accompaniment of Christ in her heart. She hopes to lead women to a grace-filled life with Jesus through her stories of their baseball adventures and her Appalachian upbringing. Today, Neena and her family are ecstatic to settled back in their Old Kentucky Home.

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