My fourth grade daughter tells me the news while we chatted about Valentine’s Day in the school cafeteria. Some of the kids in her class are dating.
I leaned across the table to make sure I heard correctly. I’d come for a casual lunch at the school, just some ‘us’ time for me and my girl.
I didn’t expect to have a panic attack with my bottle of water.
“Dating?” I ask, hoping I misheard.
“Yeah…..seems like lots of them are dating each other. One boy gave his girlfriend a necklace already. Another couple kissed. On the lips. The girls who are dating are excited to see what they get on Valentine’s Day this year.”
So it begins. Boys and girls already coupling up. Girls wait expectantly for the special Valentine from their fourth grade suitor, for whom dating probably means little more at this point than playground silliness, passed notes, and an occasional gift ( I hope).
No more box of 20+ Valentine’s that you sign, tear along the perforated line, and then hand out to all the classmates saying things like “U Rock” and “U R Sweet.” These girls are looking to feel special. They want chocolate or a flower and a hand-picked card.
I don’t even launch into my normal ‘save yourself, guard your heart, focus on God….” lecture with my daughter. She’s heard it before.
But I want to tell her something more.
I want to tell her that without childhood flirtations and the first ‘real’ Valentines,’ long before anyone has kissed her on the lips or asked for that first date, she’s already being passionately pursued by a God who is crazy about her.
There’s something about pursuit, something about being chosen and treated special, that fills deep cavernous holes in a woman’s heart.
In her book Captivating, Stasi Eldredge says:
“We desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are. We want beauty that can be seen; beauty that can be felt; beauty that affects others; a beauty all our own to unveil.”
These fourth graders are just stepping into that world of pursuit and wooing and sorting through what it means to be worth noticing, worth waiting for, worth sacrificing for, worth fighting for….just worthy.
And my girls need to know they are all that already.
We all need to know that.
So that when the world beats us down with reminders of standards we can’t meet and the girl next door makes us feel ugly and clumsy with her model-like beauty and when we’re run-down from dishes and laundry and carpools and mess . . .we still feel that message deep down.
Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord (Psalm 45:11)
You are captivating.
Covered in your toddler’s breakfast and frantic from putting your kids on the school bus?
You are loved.
Exhausted from the day and crashing on the sofa by 9 hoping that no one asks you for one more thing?
Deeply and truly loved.
Not only that, God pursues you. That is always part of our Great Romance.
Stasi Eldredge reminds us that:
“The story of your life is also the story of the long and passionate pursuit of your heart by the One who knows you best and loves you most”
God doesn’t have to romance or woo us. He could remain distant and unmoved, disappointed and disciplinary.
Yet, He bends low and tenderly calls. He watches as we trample after worldly enticements and search for worth in achievement, in status, in relationships, in looks, in Valentines and chocolate, and then He calls us back to Him time after time…..to the place where we are loved not because of what we do but because of what HE has done.
Like Hosea relentlessly chasing after his wife, the wayward Gomer, so God says:
“Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.
God Himself laid aside the glories of heaven to walk among us, to live for us, to die for us, and to make a way for us to spend eternity with Him.
That’s love. That’s pursuit in the most wildly passionate and extravagant way, more than any bouquet of flowers or Hallmark card.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2014 Heather King