Many years ago (before kids – so at least 20), I made this elaborate 12 Days of Valentine’s poster. Taking a sheet of poster board, I cut out 12 windows and taped paper in the back with whatever that day’s Valentine’s gift was. I know; it was super sappy. I’m sure someone out there is gagging as they read.

Anyway…Each gift behind that day’s window was progressively more significant the closer we drew to Valentine’s Day. The final gift? I made her dinner and turned our living room into a restaurant where I served her dinner by candlelight.

I was asked a couple of days ago what I would be doing for Valentine’s Day, and my thoughts went back to that moment. Admittedly, I had nothing as elaborate as the 12 Days of Valentine’s. I have my plan, which I cannot reveal here. It still involves food. But this did make me pause and wonder why I wasn’t.

Is it because I don’t love my wife the same? That’s the question that floated to the top. And you know what? That’s the answer. I didn’t love her the same. If I did something like the 12 Days of Valentine’s again today, it wouldn’t be received as it was then. Appreciated, but she’d give me some odd looks. Why? Well, our relationship has matured. We’ve grown. And our love isn’t the same. It’s better than what it was. It’s different than it was 20 years ago. And that’s a God thing and a good thing!

So why’s it different?

Well, we’ve gotten some things wrong for sure. However, one thing we’ve gotten right is being relationally intentional. To steal one from Stephen Covey, we began with the end in mind. We wanted our relationship to mature and grow. One day, we wouldn’t have kids to raise, so we intentionally took date nights. Sometimes, date days. Sometimes, overnight stays for a couple days. Just to invest in each other. We prioritized. We made time to just talk…and listen. We realized that it wasn’t some large event that would get us where we wanted to be, but it was the small things, done consistently, that cumulatively would add up to a big win in the end. And while we still have kids in the house, I believe we are well on our way toward our big win.

You know, it’s not much different with God, really! Our relationship with God isn’t solely based on a few big moments in life but on small, consistent things over time that cumulatively add up to a deeper relationship and a love that is not the same as it was 20 years ago (add or take away years for your age!)

While God’s nature doesn’t change, our relationship with Him does. He loves us too much to just leave us alone. Instead, His desire is to continually shape us, and our relationship deepens as we allow Him to. Love bonds are more potent. They aren’t the same. They’re better! But we have to seek Him. David writes that we should…

Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually. 1 Chronicles 16:11

This verse is part of a hymn written by David after recovering the ark. There are two items that David points out in the hymn that point to being relationally intentional.

First, David calls Israel to give God both praise and worship. Praise is intertwined with thanksgiving and acknowledgment of God’s good deeds. Worship is intimately linked to surrender to God. We can’t worship God and something else…even great marriages!

Second, David reminds Israel to remember God’s faithfulness. Recalling the past helps us remember His faithfulness for the future and keeps our hearts grateful for the present.

So what’s the bottom line? Well, not to sound redundant, but seeking to be close to God keeps us close to God. And the small, consistent things we do that add up over time significantly impact said closeness. It’s the little things. The daily devotions. Engaging Scripture. Prayer time. Church time. Listening to your current praise/worship jam when it’s been a tough day. Taking time to just sit for 5 stinking minutes so He can speak to you. It’s all those and the big stuff too!

Look, I’m not discounting a 12 Days of Valentine’s type event. In fact, I grant permission to use that idea! The larger things are still relevant. They just don’t happen every day, and the everyday consistency matters most. Because it happens every day!

So, what are you doing every day to seek God? Take some of the examples above and put them into a daily routine. Point is…Do something relationally intentional!

Oh, and for all that is right and good in the world – don’t forget today is Valentine’s Day!!!!! Tell someone you love them. And they don’t have to be a spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend. It can be someone you care about and needs to know they are loved. Why? Well because…

You are loved!