Last weekend Sally (my lovely wife) and I had a weekend off. We went away (leaving the children at home alone for the first time (ages 17 and 15 in case you were about to call the authorities)) and stayed at a hotel. It was a lovely, relaxing, special, re-creational time for us as a couple. Ostensibly it was to celebrate our recent wedding anniversary, but it was good to spend some quality ‘us’ time.
During the weekend I started to feel a bit guilty. Wasn’t it a bit self-indulgent to do this? Weren’t we being a bit extravagant? Had we ‘splurged out wastefully?
‘As these thoughts started to build into worry a phrase from an advert came to mind: “You’re worth it.”
On the whole I ignore adverts from cosmetic companies. I may perk up if they offer a cheap, painless and permanent way of replacing hair, but until then they will remain mainly ignored. Except for the ones that tell us what wonderful new chemicals are included in these products in order to make them sound more effective: ‘Pro-youthfulskinium 5’; ‘Dewrinklifier A’; ‘Sagliftupium B72’ and so on*. Those adverts make me laugh because someone somewhere has decided that people are more likely to buy these skincare products if they have new wonder-chemicals in them.
The other that I have clearly noticed is for a range of cosmetics by a French-sounding company whose slogan is ‘You’re worth it’. I guess it’s designed to make you feel that buying and using these products is important to show yourself how inherently valuable you are.
So, back to my thoughts / worry / guilt. I believe that this was a direct message from God: “You’re worth it.” That is not an excuse to be self-indulgent, extravagant or wasteful. But it was a reminder that our marriage is important and the time we had taken off to spend together was worth it. Our relationship is worth it. Sally is worth it. I’m worth it (ooh, that looks so self-obsessed and unhumble. I hope you understand what I mean).
It got me thinking about what we deny ourselves because we don’t think we are worth it, or don’t think…
Do we allow TV to replace conversation in our family? Turn it off. You’re worth it.
Do we forget to spend time with friends? Make a call. They’re worth it, you’re worth it.
Do you fail to get enough sleep because you work too hard? Slow down, you’re worth it.
Do you deflect compliments? Accept them (graciously), you’re worth it.
Do you think you are unimportant to God? Jesus hanging on the cross is God saying, “You’re worth it.”
You’ll notice that none of these things costs us anything. One of them cost God everything.
Be blessed, be a blessing.
*None of these is currently the name of a chemical in one of those products, but if you ever hear those names used, please let me know so I can collect the royalties.