Best Valentine ever given

Tales from the front pew

Everybody sing; “Love, exciting and new. Come aboard, we’re expecting you…”

If you spent any Saturday nights in the ’70s watching TV, you no doubt recognize the opening words of the theme song from “The Love Boat.” That particular topic resonates with me today on Friday, Feb. 14. (Not “boats,” but “love” that is).

A few days ago, I asked one of my colleagues if he and his wife had any plans for this Valentine’s Day.

Looking a bit taken aback, he shook his head and said, “Not really. I mean, I suppose we should do something, but I don’t know what. We definitely don’t want to go out to eat, because every restaurant will be incredibly crowded, and who wants to spend an hour waiting to get a table? Come to think of it, we’ll probably just order a pizza and watch a movie on TV.”

“A romantic movie?” I asked, hoping the couple would at least exert that much effort.

“Nah,” he said. “We’ll probably binge on Star Wars movies.”

I have a feeling the only force that’ll be with him tonight is when his wife “forces” him to sleep on the couch.

Not that I’m in any position to criticize lackluster Valentine’s Day plans, being currently guilty of the same thing myself.

It wasn’t always that way, though.

When my older sister, Debi, and I were little girls, our father gifted each of us with a pretty satin heart filled with chocolates every Feb. 14. Mom scored the big haul, of course — a 5-pound red ruffled heart and a bottle of her favorite French perfume.

When I began dating my now-husband, he surprised me with modest jewelry, cute little stuffed animals hugging fluffy hearts with “I wuv oo” emblazoned across them and the inevitable heart-shaped box of confections.

After we got married, things pretty much remained the same, except the jewelry got a little less modest — one of the benefits of having a job.

Lest anyone think I was a recipient only, I tried to make the holiday a special one for Bob, too. This typically involved cooking his favorite meal and baking a cake or cupcakes prettily decorated with red and pink frosting. It was festive and fun but somehow, over the years, it also started to seem like a lot of trouble.

This is why, a few days ago, I echoed my colleague’s sentiment about not having put much thought into Valentine’s Day this year. Maybe I’ve gotten lazy. Maybe too many other things seem more important. Maybe I need to reevaluate and realize the importance of cherishing the love I have for my husband.

As believers, we often make the same mistake.

It’s not that we don’t love the Lord. We do. It’s just that we grow a little lazy, a little complacent, a little distracted by the world around us.

In the Bible, we’re admonished to not “leave our first love,” that being Jesus.

This Valentine’s Day, when love is trumpeted from greeting cards, florists and candy shops, remember the most special Valentine God gave us: His son.

Happy Valentine’s Day!