The first time I told my wife I loved her was in a card. We dated long distance for 15 months and so phone calls and cards were our version of romantic dinners and movie nights.
I remember the day she received the card. I was in my best friends car riding shot-gun with two of my others friends in the back and we were going out on a Saturday night. My phone rang and it was Raquel. She was so excited to speak with me and thrilled over the card she had just received. She told me she had received the card and said she felt the same way to. I must admit at this time I’m feeling pretty good about myself and thinking what a stud I was! Then Raquel asked me to do something I will never forget! She asked me to repeat to her what was in the card. I questioned why and said replied by saying ‘I would like to hear it not just read it’.
Now think about this. I was a 24-year-old cool funky dude (well that’s what I thought at the time) and I’m with my boys! A cool funky dude does not say things like ‘I love you’ in public especially in front of his friends. Raquel would not take no for an answer. She was playing me, knowing exactly the situation I was in. She said, ‘if you really loved me you wouldn’t care what your friends thought’. That was the blow that caused the words to stumble out of my mouth.
As soon as I said it, my best friend turned to my other friends and said, ‘did he just say what I thought he said?’. Well I finished my phone conversation with Raquel and lets just say, my friends didn’t let me get away with it!
This weekend is Valentine’s and millions will be saying those famous three words to someone else, but I find myself asking the question, what does it really mean? For some it means a life partner, for others security, for others a lifelong dream and still others they are just cheap words said in the moment.
However, since that first time I said those words to Raquel I have grown to understand their real meaning. I can honestly say that I love Raquel Penduck, but it was another man’s love that showed the real definition of what love is all about. In John 15:13 we are told that the very best way to love is to put your life on the line for someone else. This is exactly what Jesus did for Raquel. He put his life on the line so that she could have life.
So I ask myself two questions:
1. Would I put my life on the line for Raquel?
2. Would I return the favor and put my life on the line for God?
I’ve thought long and hard about this and my answers are yes and yes! Some may question this, but that is why love is a mystery, it’s totally unexplainable and my love for Raquel and my love for my savior is totally unexplainable yet totally real and totally authentic.
Have a great Valentine’s everyone, I pray that you will find the true meaning of love throughout this season of romance!