I love February because to me, it’s the month of LOVE! Not only because it’s Valentine’s of course, or because there are hearts just about everywhere, but also because my husband and I got married in February, -a while back, and two almost college age sons, ago!
Our wedding was one of the happiest days of my life! I was so honored we were going to be Mr. and Mrs. It was a summer day in Argentina and the sun was setting. The ceremony was profound and beautiful yet unsophisticated and simple. It was just like we imagined it! Loved every minute of it. Everyone who attended seemed to have really enjoyed our wedding; -so did we! Although for me, it seemed to go by so fast, considering all the previous preparations we’d worked on!
So the following year on our first anniversary, I wore my wedding dress again, just for the thrill of it! I felt all the emotions I had experienced as a bride, come right back. –Well, except for the stress of the actual wedding day! It was awesome! I decided to make it a tradition and every year since, I have worn my dress on our Anniversary. It’s a big deal for me! After my husband gets home, we say our vows in the living room, later do photos, and then we have dinner with the boys. I love this day: it’s our family tradition! I’m excited it’s coming up!
One year, my youngest son, who was probably like five or six at the time, must have wanted to have dinner really badly, because as we were saying our vows, he interrupted us in disbelief: “-Well haven’t you two established this by now?” He was so funny! -He still is! We laughed and tried to get through the vows quickly, without missing the chance to tell him later, why this is still so important to us.
We all need to be reminded often of how loved we really are by the special people in our life. It's not that we forget, it's just that life sometimes wears us down, and those loving words sustain and uplift us back again.
My dress has fit me every year, so far so good! –I guess you could say it just fits “differently” after 19 years of marriage! But to me, it’s not even about the dress. What captures my heart every time about this romantic tradition, is what hasn’t changed between us, when I hear us both say our vows aloud… I feel so loved by my husband. I’m never shy of amazement at how two people, as different as they come, can share this kind of love.
One of the reasons why I think it’s so important to repeat our vows is because our words have a powerful influence on others. They do!
When we use our words to honor someone, to bless or to encourage them, we make them feel at their best. -Did you know you have that power in you? You can bless someone today just by using your words.
Every time we take the time to just tell the people we love, or write them a quick text on how special they are to us; that always makes them feel uplifted. Everyone likes to know they are appreciated and loved. Everybody. I’ve never heard anyone complain that their spouse had told them “I love you” too many times.
Unfortunately sometimes our words affect others negatively, causing them pain. A fifteen second argument can take years to heal.
In the New Testament, James 3:10 says: “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” (NIV)
I’m sure I don’t even need to give examples of how hurtful some words can be. We might know exactly how they sound if they were said to us. And how can we forget the guilt, if we ourselves have pronounced them? It’s hard because the other person feels upset that the argument escalated and it affected the relationship. And in all honesty so do we!
Unkind words have a way of weighing down into our soul sometimes for life. Yet, the opposite is true as well: soothing words heal the heart and give life. If we can remember to use kind and compassionate words towards others, we might even witness their healing power in their lives.
I believe our words can also heal someone who’s lonely or might feel discouraged, depressed or hurt. Our words, if we choose them wisely, can alleviate someone’s pain or loss, or somebody's bad medical report.
I even think that using compassionate words can improve a struggling relationship. Best yet, we might even have the courage to say: “I forgive you.” Because those three words, will set us free from the pain and the anxiety that resentment and unforgiveness cause in our life.
Valentine’s is not just about romantic love. It also reaches out to our friends and all those people we care about. I challenge you this holiday to remember to communicate words that make others feel special and loved. To thank them for something they did for you or taught you. To let them know how much you admire and cherish them. Every day is a gift; we don’t always know how much time we have left. Don’t put it off.
I hope you get a chance to tell the people you love, how much you care and appreciate them on this Valentine’s Day! Don’t just get them flowers or candy alone. What they will love the most is that you reminded them again how loved they are by you!
Happy Valentine’s To YOU!
Maria A. Mansfield
Author: “Life Is Worth Getting Better”