I don’t usually dream about love. Oh, don’t get me wrong I’m as romantic as the next girl. I dream of beautiful boquets of flowers, and getting dressed up for romantic dates, and little shiny diamond rings. It’s all any girl could wish for, right? We are so enamored of fluttering hearts and flirty smiles. We crave long romantic vacations and crazy bachelor-like adventures. We watch perfectly planned love stories play out on a glittering screen and we think “if only….” And we think “someday….” As if some moment we will step out of our boring reality and into a movie plot where everyone has money, a stylist, and professional hair dos.
But what does this really have to do with love? I mean real love. The every day-wake up-go to work-come home late-and do it all again tomorrow kind. The love that is built on reality, is conceived in commitment, and birthed at the marriage altar. The love that grows with the joy of a newborn, the first tiny little house that’s all your own, waking up every day to the same sweet face with the same bad breath, a 2, a 5, a 20 year anniversary. The love that lasts through the missed appointments, sleepless nights, terrible two’s, laid off again, selfish arguments, miscarried child, loss of a father, mother, brother. The love that loves even when we have bad days, or weeks, or months. The love that simply shows up when it’s needed, holds you when you cry, remembers what you forget, and stays up to watch the movie YOU wanted to see. The love with 3 small kids that can’t find a babysitter for Valentine’s day this year…. just like last. The love that holds your hand at the hospital awaiting the birth of a new grandchild. The love that looks with starstruck eyes at crows feet and graying hair. The love that sees into each other’s heart and is determined to see this thing through no matter what circumstance may come its way.
Do we dream of that love? Or do we dream of a love that is all about us? Do we only think of love in terms of only good feelings or lavish “romantic” lifestyles? Because that’s ridiculous and it’s not the love most of us will get. There is no one of royal blood coming to sweep you into riches and give you the wedding of the century. There is no man or woman who really can measure up to perfection at every moment of every day of real life. Sometimes they are not everything you’ve ever dreamed of. Sometimes it’s harder and more work than you planned. Sometimes it may stretch the very person that you are into being more than you ever imagined for the sake of that love.
That’s life though…. You learn, you grow, you work hard, you lose sleep, you make mistakes, you make up for your mistakes, you work even harder, you grow some more, and every day you choose to love with every thing you do and everything you are. So wait for a godly love, but know that no matter how long you wait, no matter how long you hold out, and how well you behave until then, you will not get everything perfectly how you’ve always dreamed it would be, but it will be real if you determine that it will be.
If you’re single this Valentine’s Day, I don’t want you to dream of roses every Monday or an engagement story of the ages, or a perfect wedding dress, or picture perfect smiles to post for the world. I want you to dream of forgiveness, and commitment, and sacrifice, and joy, and deeper, realer, more faithful love than you’re even prepared for. If you have that kind of love, I want you to cherish it, and I want you to let us know. I want you to be pumped about your every day love. I want you to be pumped about your marriage, and your kids, and your amazing God-given life of love not just because it’s Valentine’s Day, but because I want us single people to dream of real love, and you’ve got what we are all dreaming about.