Schedule check

Published 9:35 am Saturday, February 26, 2011

I was out of town on a ministry engagement last weekend when I received an early Monday morning call from Gale.

We talked about various things for a few minutes just to touch base with each other before we both went our separate ways for the day. As she brought our conversation to a conclusion, she interjected a statement that had totally escaped me: “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

I had completely forgotten about it.

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But I did not need to worry—there was still time to do a little shopping when I got back to Georgia, and that I did.

Before I got to the store, I suspected that I would not be the only tardy husband on Valentine’s Day, and I was right. Before I got to the front door, I met a young man with balloons and various other gifts in hand as he headed toward the parking lot. And as I got to the card section inside, I was not alone there either.

I hope the day turned out as well for those guys as it did for me; Gale was very pleased with my selection.

Gale gave me a card that made a statement that really grabbed my attention. It was a simple card that made a very true statement. A portion of it read, “For My Husband: With our busy schedules we can’t always find time for us …” On the inside was a calendar with a day scheduled for us.

What a needed reminder of how we need to purposefully and consciously take the time and effort to spend time where it is truly needed.

Just a few days ago, I scheduled an appointment to have my tax work done. I have plenty of other things I would rather be doing, but I know that reporting to Uncle Sam is a mandated matter. Being aware of that, I will make a two-hour trip to Ashburn, Ga., to meet with Carol, whom I have entrusted this matter to for years and have never been disappointed with her knowledge, honesty and competency.

I made that appointment because I know that I need to, for to fail to file my tax return and pay whatever I owe the government (whether I like it our not) would result in very negative consequences for me.

We do not have to worry about financial penalties or imprisonment by failing to spend time with our spouse as we would if we neglected to attend to tax matters, but there is still a real price attached. When a husband and wife miss the privilege of setting aside time for each other, it costs them a missed opportunity to grow in friendship and depth of love, and it can open the door to devastating temptations that lead to deep sorrow and pain.

Ephesians 5:33 gives powerful guidance: “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

In the marital setting, love and respect cannot mature without willfully planning quality time with each other.

That little card from my wife did not cost her a lot of money, but it reminded me of a valuable truth. I admit that I almost forgot Valentine’s Day, but be advised that I am already aware that March 3 is our 33rd wedding anniversary and I will not forget that!