The room lit up with the glow of her blonde hair.
“Everyone, please welcome Anne.She just moved here from Oregon.” Mrs. Simms pointed to a desk. “Go ahead and have a seat there.”
She walked down the row – to the desk next to mine! The sun shone! Birds sang! Butterflies fluttered, in my stomach!
For the first time in my life, I was smitten! Second grade would never be the same!
I would say that was overdramatized, but, you know what it’s like. My innocent little world was turned upside down. Maybe girls didn’t have cooties!
Anne (not her real name) and I became friends. We played together after school at her house. I was too afraid to tell my parents and siblings that I had a friend who was a girl.
Then the impossible happened. She changed schools – some private school nearby.
I still rode my bike past her house often. I was too chicken to knock, but maybe she would come out.
A couple of years later she did. I panicked. I didn’t know what to say or do. I fled. She chased me for half a block before giving up. I rode faster than her. It was the worst thing I had done in my young life.
Life goes on. I’ve fallen in and out of love along the way. I am now deeply in love with my wife. Over the years I’ve discovered that love is not what I thought it was as a child.
Like most people, I thought love was an emotional rush. An attraction so deep that I never wanted to leave the object of my love. I had it exactly backwards.
That emotional rush never lasts. The attraction ebbs and flows. But that’s not love.
True romance is a commitment so deep that it generates those feelings all by itself. When you are committed to bring love, security, happiness, and peace to your partner, you do things that make you and them feel that emotional love.
I love my wife not because she’s beautiful (she is), talented (she is), or loving (she is). I love her because I am committed to her. My love is as imperfect as I am, but it’s true. True romance springs out of that.
If you are struggling with love this Valentine’s weekend, go back to the basics. Commit yourself to your spouse. Do those things that spark the feelings, even if it’s hard to dredge them up. I strongly recommend the movie (and/or book) “Fireproof” for ways to do that.
For those of you who are single (thanks for reading this far) I encourage you to shift your focus away from attraction and romance and towards being the kind of person you would want to love you back. Don’t settle for false romance based on feelings of attraction. Wait for the one who will commit to you for life.
In the meantime, we should all focus on the one who loves us so much that he laid down his life for us. God loves us more than words can express. He welcomes us with open arms. What better love could we hope to find?