Valentine's Day probably had to be the most anxiously awaited day of middle school growing up. We had this thing at our school where the week leading up to Valentine's Day, you could buy someone a $1 carnation or $2 rose, and on Valentine's Day when you got to school in the morning, the flowers would be sitting on the desks of the recipients. Every year without a doubt, the most popular girls and guys would walk in the classroom to find 10+ flowers on their desks from all their friends and secret admirers, and everyone else would come in to find maybe two flowers, probably from their best friends, or maybe just one, or maybe none. The entire day the popular kids would walk around with all the flowers on their textbooks, carrying them like badges of honor, each one symbolizing their worth. The rest of us, however, felt a little unspecial. Unworthy. Maybe a little forgotten.
People used to go all out for their middle school boyfriends or girlfriends. There was lots of balloons, cards, flowers, and dates (escorted by parents) and unashamed hand holding and kissing going on. No one was stingy on the romance. The unpopular ones on the sidelines, like me, muttered about how it's just a Hallmark holiday, so superficial, and a such a waste of money on all those flowers that will be dead in a few days.
I think buried underneath that resentment, there's a little something there longing to feel loved and special and worthy. We've tried to quench it so we don't get let down if it doesn't happen.
If you fast forwarded 15 years, most of us are married, maybe we've even been married for a while and maybe have a kid or two. Maybe we don't even celebrate Valentine's Day and a lot of us are those grown up unpopular kids trying to suppress that desire to be shown love and celebrate it. We still don't want to get our hopes up. It's easier to just ignore it.
This year God started stirring something in my heart as Valentine's Day approached. I thought about those middle school years and wondered why middle schoolers went all out for their crushes and secret admirers more than I celebrate with my husband, whom I love deeply and continually fight to love and respect more everyday. Isn't love supposed to grow and get better and better? I know I love Brian abundantly more than I did when we were dating. Not in a puppy love type of way, but a love that runs deep. So why not go all out on the one day of the year that we have specifically set aside to celebrate love? Stop numbing the desire for the little cheesy things that people do to celebrate their love. It's one day a year! Buy the cheesy card. Get the flowers that are going to die. Eat your darn chocolates. Put on that fancy top you save for special occasions. You fight to make your marriage strong and to love your spouse more and more everyday, so take a day and celebrate it!
Don't let the middle schoolers have all the fun this year.
Show them that love after marriage isn't boring.
It just gets better when you fight for it.
So celebrate it.