A wise man (otherwise known as Jesus) once said "don't toss your pearls to swine."
This, I know, seems like an odd way to start a post during the season of romance (Valentine's Day is admittedly not usually associated with pigs), but knowing how to give away love is an important thing to remember this time of year.
In other words, a lady's love must be earned. She doesn't just give it away for free. Not even for a box of chocolates and a dozen roses. Not for jewelry and soft-spoken compliments. Not for diamonds. (okay...maybe really big ones...) The gift of a lady's heart requires some effort.
Now here is where the swine come in. All too often we find ourselves tempted to give away our talents and affections to those who do not properly esteem them. Like pigs, they cannot discern the difference between trash and treasure, and want only to feel the satisfaction of instant gratification.
Naturally our first thoughts might go to the obvious examples, like casual sex with strangers and long-term relationships with callous men. These pearls-to-the-swine pictures are easy to spot, and none of us would choose to toss our treasures so carelessly if we can avoid it.
But there are other, more subtle examples of this sneaky tragedy. There are those of us, for instance, who pour out our skill and talent for a boss who does not recognize or reward the effort. Others of us might sacrificially nurture the friendship of a vain and foolish girlfriend long after the relationship should have expired. And still others of us offer the precious gift of our time to husbands and children who do not reciprocate.
In short, it is all too easy for our hearts to be exploited by those who cannot (or will not) see beyond themselves.
Now, upon recognizing this error, it is often easy to pull back our affections entirely. But note that the proverb is not "don't throw your pearls...ever." Our hearts, our time, our love, our talents--we were made to give them away. To share them with others, especially those we care most about.
We just need to remember to exercise some prudence in the act of giving. As I said earlier, a lady's pearls should be earned. The people in our life who would seek to merit our hearts should not be afraid or unwilling to extend some effort. They should, through their actions and words, demonstrate that they know the difference between trash and treasure--and that they do, in fact, treasure us.
So this week, when love is in the air and pink and red adorn the town, remember the words of a wise man and offer your pearls to those who deserve them.
P.S. Aren't you loving the multi-strand necklaces in fashion these days?! They can be worn in so many different ways.... Mine pictured here--believe it or not--were snatched up from my holiday decorations. That's right--they're Christmas garland. Nobody said the pearls have to be real...