Love: 14 Ways to Keep Your Love Strong

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+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

From the time I became aware of what Valentine’s Day represented, I struggled with it. Who could struggle with true love, right?

Except, I wasn’t one of the girls who received Candy-grams in junior high. I wasn’t one of the girls who ever—ever—had a date to the Valentine’s dance. In my mind, I wasn’t pretty enough, or popular enough, or anything enough.

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Valentine’s Validation

As Image courtesy of noppasinw at FreeDigitalPhotos.neta girl, I loved creating in the sand–building sand castles, scrawling words and sketching images with a stick. Then I watched as waves rolled up and washed my masterpieces away. I always knew it would happen, and most of the time, that was okay.

As I grew older, the same sort of thing took place in my heart. I looked for love, drawing a certain picture of what it should look like in my mind’s eye. Around Valentine’s Day, those snap shots included candy, roses and my hand being held by some cute guy. Because, well, that’s what was supposed to happen on February fourteenth, according to television and card companies. They conveyed the message that I was only validated if I had a “Valentine.” Of course, I never had a “Mr. Right” escorting me to some romantic restaurant for Valentine’s Day. “Pick me second, or third, or fourth” seemed to be written on my forehead.

It took a long time for the truths of God’s word to wipe that lie off of the sands of my heart. God’s love for us is permanent, written into the inner core of who we are with indelible ink. It can’t be stripped away by the waves that crash upon the shores of our lives. Though our love for Him sometimes drifts onto the beach and back out, He has loved us with an everlasting love.

Though I’m married to Mr. Amazing now, I still remember God’s love for me is steadfast, un-erasable by the messages I hear and see in this world. His love speaks words of life into my heart. My honey is my on-earth Valentine, and Jesus is my eternal Valentine. I am cherished by both. And Valentine’s Day doesn’t get any better than that.

Your Turn: What are your thoughts about Valentine’s Day? Do you have any special traditions that mark the day?