What I want this Valentine's Day

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. Β 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.

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27 comments

  1. I’m sitting here reading this with my boyfriend and I’m pretty sure there in not a dry eye between us. This was beautiful. Real raw emotional love, surpasses any 12 dozen bouquet of roses and teddy bear fairytale. There is nothing better than a person who drives you completely off the walls but can love you the way Christ loved the church. It is beautiful and it is out there, I promise.

    With love & grace – Diana [Two Are Better Than One]

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  2. I love this. I wish for this extravagant love someday. It will never compare to the love God has for me. I think that God loves us through that person and other people too. And no man would ever measure up to what God is to me. But he can try. I don’t expect perfection or lavish gifts. I just like the adventure of learning about someone. Their strengths, weaknesses. I am willing to even love their imperfections, hoping they will love mine too. I pray for you to also experience this extravagant love, as well as every precious girl and woman who reads your blog.

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  3. Such insightful words on true love! God has generously given me a husband who is more than I dreamed: “dream of forgiveness, and commitment, and sacrifice, and joy, and deeper, realer, more faithful love than you’re even prepared for.” My husband models for me the unconditional love of Jesus toward someone who doesn’t deserve such love and grace. “I have found the one my heart desires, and I’m not letting go.” <–our marriage motto: Song of Solomon 3:4

    So hold out, dear friend, for such a love. It is well worth the wait!

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  4. Amazing definition of true love. We have been married for almost 2 years. It isn’t what you see on the bachelor or in the movies, it’s so much deeper. Read Ephesians 5…I read that when I was single and was so encouraged. We had it read our wedding. We are expecting our first child in April and my husband has been at my side these past 7 months rejoicing and encouraging me on the days I don’t feel the greatest. The love you described is so worth the wait!!!

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  5. Thank you so much for this! πŸ™‚ made me cry. I don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day this year, or whatever, blah blah. Ha. I can gladly say though that I’m perfectly okay with that. I am so thankful that I am a child of God! He takes care of me, so I can trust what he is doing with me and in my life (including who is in it and who is not). If marriage is a part of God’s plan for my life, He will make it happen when He wants it to. Because of His love for me and because I trust Him, I don’t feel the pressure of obtaining what I don’t have (and don’t need) [yet]. I can realize and know that I don’t need what society tells me I need or want (i.e. love). I am personally taking this season in my life to just love Jesus and to become the person that He wants me to be. I encourage you all to do the same β™₯

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  6. Oh Lauren, you’ve done it again! I’ve been thinking long and hard about Valentine’s and what it means to me as a single girl…. this is beautiful. The love that you write about is the love I wish to have. To see the beauty of it all in the simplest of moments. It’s time to really see love for what it should be instead of what society makes us believe is the ideal. Thank you, truly. You’ve made this Valentine’s Day extra special for me.

    Nathali
    http://gloriouspeonies.blogspot.ca

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  7. I think most of us girls are in love with the idea of being in love. That’s how we’ve been wired from little girls! To wait for our Disney prince and have impossible expectations. its just dawned on me that until I understand completely what it means to “dream of forgiveness, and commitment, and sacrifice, and joy, and deeper, realer, more faithful love” – then I should consider a relationship. Loving someone is a BIG DEAL. I’m glad you’ve opened my eyes to what real love should be like! Love always x

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing this with the world. My partner and I are only days away from meeting our first baby, and I can honestly say that we’ve been through the ringer with my hormones, tight finances, and many other things. There’s been moments of spite, anger, insecurities, and many pointed fingers, but at the end of the day he is the person I want to lay next to. And I know he feels the same way.

    I’ve spent so many nights being angry for not having a perfect “romantic” relationship, and your article reminds me that at this very moment I have the perfect relationship for me. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring but we know that we’ll be holding each other tonight.

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  9. Great post once again! Thank you for all the time you take to write these posts, you’ve actually inspired me to start my own blog! I would be so grateful if you could check it out and let me know what you think πŸ™‚ God Bless

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  10. I’m crying over here!
    Lately,I’ve been thinking on that kind of forever love shared between me and my future husband and it’s a big concept! A beautiful commitment!

    When I look for examples of selfless love,I can’t help but think of all the times God has loved me with the love you’ve described! He’s seen me through so many days with disappointments,ugly hair,beautiful prayers,nasty attitudes,loving sacrifices,frustration,and complete adoration of who He is and has been….With the up’s and down’s, His love has never wavered!

    Thank you for reminding me of my first and only love. My heart is so full of gratitude for Him. Thank you.

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  11. My children have wandered, and in what I thought I feared most, I have been drawn closer to the One who loves me most. In my weakest times, He’s given me strength. I may feel sorrow, but I know Hope. I know there’s a reason, I don’t yet know what it is but in His everlasting love I have come to feel a peace like never before. His grace really is sufficient for me! That is a quick summary of the loneliness I and the love I experienced not only on Valentine’s Day, because I was allowing the fear to almost consume me before I let go, and let God.
    You have a beautiful gift, and have inspired many, and surely me, more than you than you might even realize.
    I thank God for finding your inspired words.

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  12. This was BEAUTIFUL! and so honest and real. I loved it and had to share on facebook. You speak to me through most of your writing and wanted to just say THANK YOU!

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  13. I am 18, single, and ready to wait as long as I need to for this kind of love. In the bible God had people wait 40,50 years to find the right love. We just need to be patient, God will work everything out in his timing!! It’s just hard to wait ;P .

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    • It is SO worth the wait! I am 22 years old and I,2 months ago,said yes to a wonderful man of God who asked if he could pursue me. This is my very first relationship & this journey has been every thing I DIDNT expect,but it’s been what I need. I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone and God has led me to trust him more than ever. It’s so great. Waiting until I got a “YES!” from the Holy Spirit,no matter how hard it was, was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. You can do it!!!

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  14. Lauren,
    As I lay awake in my college dorm talking to God like I do often at the end of my day He has directed me to you. I have followed your blog for quite some time now and follow you on Instagram and Facebook. But tonight, is different. God had a word for me and this is it. Thank you, friend. It’s so cool to see you married now and living out the obedience that God breathed into you to wait on real love. I don’t think I can tell you how much you have encouraged me on this cold, Alabama night. A few hours ago I was nervous about this Valentine’s Day. Now I am not. Thank you for being a raw vessel for our God.

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