Have you seen the Love Bear commercials recently? (image from Google)—a must gift this Valentine’s. Or the one for the hoodie-footie pajamas? Tom grins, “I think I will order you two of those 6 foot bears. Or maybe I will get you those PJs.” He wouldn’t dare.
Valentine’s is a major high sales day. Over 19 billion dollars will be spent this week. That will include millions of dollars for jewelry, flowers, candy, dining out, cards and gifts. On this day, an excess of 150 million cards will be bought, second only to Christmas.
This celebration of love began in the 5th century, and lovers worldwide celebrate this day. The giving of roses began with the Victorians as it was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. This week more than 50 million roses will fill vases and bottles.
I enjoy gifts, and I love roses, but receiving gifts is not my love language. Tom knows and speaks my language; I have learned his. (I would encourage all married couples to read Gary Chapman’s, The 5 Love Languages.) There were times during the darkest spring weeks of 2016 that I survived my illness simply because Tom spoke my language. During the bleak and fearful experiences, Tom held me fast and assured me all would be well. When I thought I was not going to make it, I was able to hold on to a thin thread of hope because of his encouragement and hugs. I know now that he was not always as confident, but I never knew.
According to US. News and World Reports (February 2016), a 20 second hug benefits both the body and mind. . . . a long hug! That kind of hug helps control blood pressure and stabilize the heart rate. Hormones are released to cause relaxation. Research shows that hugging is extremely effective at healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress.The research shows that a “proper deep hug, where the hearts are pressing together can benefit you in many ways.” It lifts serotonin levels, strengthens the immune system, relaxes muscles, balances the nervous system . Amazing, what a hug can do. We need lots of hugs a day.
I think God created us with a need for this kind of hug. Many verses in Scripture mention his arms. “He tends his flock like a shepherd; he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart. . .” Isaiah 40: 11. “He took the children in his arms . . .”Mark 10:16
Words of affirmation, quality time, touch, acts of service and receiving gifts are all love languages. I am not so sure but that couples growing in their marriage commitment speak all five at various times. “I love you” is never whispered as loudly to me as when Tom asks, “Do you want to watch Pride and Prejudice tonight or what about You’ve Got Mail. Let’s go on a walk or how about a picnic?”
Time and touch.
God knows and speaks my language; he knows and speaks yours. He speaks all of them. Often, he shouts, and we cannot miss his declaration of love. His words affirm us, he walks with us-spending all the time with us that we need, he holds us in his everlasting arms. And oh, his gifts are just too numerous to count. In the ultimate act of service and love, he gave his life for each one of us.
This Valentine Day give a hug–a 20 second hug to your children, to your husband or wife. See how you feel!! But relish in God’s everlasting arms, sensing His presence, feeling him -heart to heart, speaking your language.
He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge. Psalm 91:4
hugged and hidden . . .