Originally published Saturday, 15 February 2014.
It’s the morning after Valentine’s Day, and some single women and even couples are waking up with the lingering hangover of disappointment, crumpled tissues littering the floor next to the bed and swollen eye bags greeting them in the bathroom mirror.
But it’s not only the single ladies waking up to a clouded dawn of disappointment. A handful of wives threw away all hopes of a romantic evening with the middle-of-the-night dirty diaper.
This year was my tenth married Valentine’s Day, and per my request, I opted to spend it at home with a few single girls from church. My husband was laboring late into the night, and would only get home after the kids had to be tucked into bed.
As we sat around the table laughing and playing games, my attention kept shifting to my watch, as the minutes ticked later and later into the darkness. Eventually I picked up the phone to call my husband, as I expected him to be home much sooner from work. Much to my surprise, he was at the store, looking for the toilet paper I had asked him to buy.
Husbands who love their wives like Christ loves the Church might take their brides out for a candlelight dinner. But they might show the extent of their love by scouring the aisles of the grocery store for the right brand of toilet paper after working late on a Friday night in the middle of a freezing cold winter.
The world will tell us that love looks like chocolate and roses. Ann Voskamp eloquently reminds us that sometimes love looks like a sagging mattress that meets in the middle. Lisa-Jo Baker would be quick to say that love doesn’t always run through the airport.
God says that husbands ought to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. Christ did not show His love for His bride with chocolate and scattered rose petals. He demonstrated His love through the ultimate sacrifice — Himself.
Men who love Christ and seek to imitate Him will go beyond the champagne and candles. They will show their love by imitating their Master, who laid down His life for His bride. And sometimes that looks a lot like buying toilet paper.
Photo credit: Chris Waits