I haven’t seen a wheelchair, mobility scooter or hospital ward featuring on this year’s crop of Valentine’s Day cards. But maybe they should.

Because away from the images of hearts, cuddly teddies and suggestive messages, there’s a deeper consequence of two people committing themselves to each other.

Every time I lead a couple through their marriage vows, I’m conscious of the massive commitment they are making:

“From this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part…”

Big promises and yes, because of a whole range of reasons, not every couple is able to meet them.

Yet for many couples, love is life-long. It goes on through home-building, child-raising, supporting grown-up children, caring for ageing parents…and so much more.

I’m not sure any Valentine’s Day card could really show the breadth and depth of life-long love.

Love that began with nervous dates and exciting plans for the future can over decades change to lovingly supporting the partner through declining health and disability.

The elderly husband or wife slowly pushing their partner’s wheelchair or diligently visiting them in a dementia home speak eloquently of a lifetime of love. Love that goes far beyond any words in any Valentine’s Day card.

Valentine’s Day is this year on the same day as Ash Wednesday – the day that marks the start of the Christian season of Lent.

Christians remember that Christ, in love, gave up his life for a needy world, and rose again to bring new life to all. Love in action.

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