Love is not a pink teddy bear

brown bear plush toy holding red rose flower
Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush on

I don’t want to be a cynic, but I really can’t stand Valentine’s Day. It’s really not cause I’m bitter, although I have gone through many a pink-splattered Valentine’s day with a broken heart, mascara-tear stained face and no one sending me flowers. By the grace of God, there is no bitter root, just painful scars.  It’s the superficiality of  love made cheap chocolates, pink teddy bears and cheesy cards that I gladly pass by.

I try to use the holiday in a way that’s redemptive though.  And I try to respect other personalities that like the fun and romance and silliness of Valentine’s Day in the U.S.A. But I do think there’s a desperate need for us to see past the shades of pink to the red blood truth about love: it’s not cheap. And it doesn’t candy-coat hard things.

My experience with romantic love is limited and I limit myself in indulgences of it in pop culture entertainment because I know how tempting it is to start coveting a fantasy and abandon the real, hazel-eyed, world-weary man I pass by a thousand times a day in my living room.

So let Walmart and Heart-Candies-And-Romantic-Gifts-Dot-Com blare their pepto-bismol colored love products and I’ll try not to puke.  But I want something deeper. I want something real. I want something that bleeds red. And knows the bad and the good and still says, “I do”.  And I want to be someone who says, “That was wrong, and that hurt me, and I won’t stand for that, but I won’t abandon you!”  I want a real heart, that hurts and beats out of turn at times because I fear the past will repeat itself, and the future might not get much better. But it’s a real heart, and so is his. And so was the heart of the one who burst with love, laying down his life for me.

Valentine’s day may not mean anything to you. Or it might be salt in your wounds. But it’s just another day really, a day to do what love really does, and hearts really do- keep on pumping, keep on pouring out, keep on giving life.

Love is not pink
it’s patient
Love is not candy
it’s kind

Love wants the one
it’s been given

Love looks
the hard truth
the world-weary
and says, “I’m not going anywhere!”

Love bleeds and bends
and never ends.

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