Getting over my resistance to love has been a process of fits of starts.
I hated the idea of love for a long time. What made it worse, I didn’t want to get over my cynicism.
But nearly 14 years into our marriage, every Valentine’s Day, Sheri and I always remind each other of a phrase we came up with early in our marriage,
“Embrace the cheese.”
Which means, the only way we can know Love is by caring more for embracing it than about resisting any taint of cheesiness. No hokey, sappy, mass-produced, hackneyed, gag-inducing sentimentalism could ever change the truth of what we all need most in this life. And we’re learning, slowly, because that’s what God designed for us. And we realize it more day by day, and year by year.
This Valentine’s Day, we still find ourselves haters of the adulterated, processed-cheese kind of romance. But we’re also more lovers of the pure kind that continually flows from the source.
It’s silly and even a bit ridiculous that an old flippant phrase could turn into our traditional Valentine’s wish to each other. But so? If it works, it works. And maybe our happy Valentine’s Day depends most on remembering that simple secret.
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free,
rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me.
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of thy love;
leading onward, leading homeward, to my glorious rest above.
“O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” by Samuel Francis (1875)
Insignificant as it might seem, this little phrase has become a huge gift to us. And that’s our choice–to celebrate it as a gift or to not.
Even with all that’s happened and made us haters, each new Valentine’s Day gives us the choice. Will you celebrate?
I say YES. And I don’t care if others think I’m cheesy.
And really, who can’t embrace cheese? It’s straight up delicious.
I’m off to find some confetti…