Let’s take a trip down memory lane together. The day is February 14, 2003.
I had only been dating Jason Dugger for a couple of months, and even though it was still early in our relationship, I was very excited about this holiday because it was the first time in my life I had a “valentine” for Valentine’s Day. Jason told me he was going to plan the date we were going to have that evening, but I wanted to have a few surprises for him as well. Just before dawn I drove to his apartment and decorated his front door with signs and gifts that I hoped he would find on his way to class. I went back to his place around lunchtime to leave another small surprise that I hoped he would find between school and our evening date. To prepare for his arrival, I purchased a new outfit and had my hair styled by a professional.
I wanted everything to be perfect.
Jason picked me up at my place and wouldn’t tell me where we were going. The first stop on his list was dinner at an Indian restaurant, which was a shock (and a stretch) for me. Then we headed across the state line to see a play in another city. He knew I had already tried to figure out what he had planned and didn’t think I would look at activities in a different city. Before he took me home, we stopped to exchange our gifts and cards at his apartment.
We hadn’t been inside for long when there was a sudden knock at his door. I could tell by the look on Jason’s face that he wasn’t expecting anyone. I remained in the living room, but I could hear a woman’s voice greet him as he answered the door. He stepped outside for about five minutes to talk with this mystery woman, who turned out to be… his ex-girlfriend! She had stopped by to give him a card and a gift because, apparently, they were still “friends.”
As you can imagine, this sparked a lengthy conversation about just how friendly they were. Poor Jason was so caught off guard by the incident that he absolutely fumbled his way through our conversation (and all of my questions). While it was obvious he was no longer dating this girl, it was also very clear to me that he still had feelings for her. And despite all the effort he put into planning a nice evening for me, that Valentine’s Day experience left me hurt and embarrassed.
The importance of recounting that story today isn’t to highlight my emotions but to point out that this story occurred twelve years ago! But, if I allow it, I can still remember every detail of that evening as if it were yesterday. And it seems that every single Valentine’s Day, I struggle with reliving it. No matter what Jason does, says, or writes on a card, my insecurities plague me, and I wonder if he still feels the way he felt back then. It sounds ludicrous to confess that out loud, because I know that my husband is crazy about me, but for some reason, his gestures today aren’t grand enough, and his words are left wanting.
This is terribly unfair to Jason because, when I do that, I am disregarding the fact that he fell in love with me and married me, and we have had twelve “incident-free” Valentine’s Days since. Sadly, my trademark Valentine’s Day story isn’t the only incident I can recount. I could probably list for you all the things Jason has ever said that have hurt my feelings. I could list his bad choices, his hurtful words, or his careless actions.
This isn’t my husband’s problem! It’s mine. He isn’t at fault. I am.
First Corinthians 13:5 defines love by saying this:
Love keeps no record of wrongs (NIV).
[It] doesn’t keep score of the sins of others (Message).
It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong (The Living Bible).
The Bible defines love in a very specific way, and yet I live as if those definitions are merely suggestions. If I say I love my husband but keep a record of his wrongs, then am I loving him the way the Lord wants me to love him?
Do you still feel the sting of a past Valentine’s Day or other infamous event? Is there some hurt you have yet to forgive your spouse for and move on from?
As I mentioned on February’s Free Printable Prayer Calendar (which is available to those who subscribe to my blog) here are the special Scripture verses to pray over your husband today:
- I pray that my husband would love me as Jacob loved Rachel (Genesis 29:20).
- I pray that my husband would place me like a seal over his heart (Song of Solomon 8:6).
- I pray that my husband would love me as he loves himself and that I will respect him (Ephesians 5:33).
- I pray that the Lord would bind my husband and I in perfect unity through love (Colossians 3:14).
- I pray that my husband and I will be patient and kind. That we will not be envious, boastful, proud, rude, or self-seeking. Help us not to be easily angered or keep any record of wrongs. May we not delight in evil, but rejoice with the truth. May we always protect, always trust, always hope, and always persevere (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
**Sharing this article with the Grace and Truth Linkup at Arabahjoy.com.