When I was a little girl, my mother told me about a true story she read in a magazine. Though I remember the powerful impact that the story had on me, I don’t remember all its details. What I submit below has a few improvisations for your reading enjoyment. Jane and Emily were best friends. Both were happily married and both had newborn babies. On the day after Valentine’s Day, Jane called Emily to share that her husband had surprised her with a stunning diamond necklace. While Jane was overjoyed by this tangible, hand held gift, Emily found herself feeling jealous. Why didn’t her husband show his love this way? Emily brooded as she thought about this and struggled to fall asleep that night… but fall asleep she did! Emily slept so deeply that around 2:45 in the morning she bolted out of bed realizing that she missed her baby boy’s 2:00 am feeding. She ran down the hall and to her surprise, saw her husband cradling the baby back to sleep after he had fed, burped, and diapered him. In that moment, Emily had an epiphany about how her husband had expressed his love not just tenderly for the baby, but compassionately for her. A little extra sleep for a weary new mother was far more valuable than a truckload of diamond necklaces. All the feelings of jealousy that Emily harbored just hours earlier, now melted away in appreciation of her husband’s kind acts. Emily treasured the deeper meaning of love in her heart.
I am so grateful to my mother for sharing this story with me. It has lived within me for so many years and has influenced the meaning of my own marriage now 16 years strong.
After reading this story, what expectations do you have from those who love you? How will you choose to define love? Please share your thoughts in our comments section.
Valentine’s Day is just days away and I hope you find that the deep meaning of love graces your heart and soul.