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Miles Apart: a Special ‘Valentine’s Day’ Message

14 Feb

SnoopyAndHeart_AbsenceQuote“Absence makes the heart grow fonder”? I’m with Schultz. Absence makes my heart say, “Hurry home, Babe!”

My husband and I are often miles apart.

He’s in another state or somewhere around the world. I can’t tell you how many birthdays, Valentine’s Days and anniversaries we’ve spent apart since we were married 40 years ago.

But one thing’s for sure,

I’d rather be miles apart than “miles apart.”

I know so many couples who are miles apart spiritually, emotionally, socially, financially, physically. They’re under the same roof, but . . .

They’ve embraced different worldviews. They can’t agree. They don’t see eye to eye. Their hearts aren’t in the same place. They might not even share the same bed.

It’s so sad.

God made us all different, and He doesn’t want cloned spouses. But His plan is for couples to be “one.” Not only one in physical union, but together in the way they face the world, united in how they will bring up children, agreeing in how to use resources, etc.

Each partner might bring something unique into their union, but the goal is to be a stronger “one.”

My husband and I could not be more different in how we approach social events, how we disciplined the boys, how we spend or invest, how we worship. But together, our friendships, parenting, finances, and communion with God have grown. Our oneness is more beautiful than we ever were alone.

Humans struggle over unity (with anyone). We like our independence. But if God calls a couple to marriage, He also calls them to unity (Genesis 2:24-25), a reflection of the unity in the Godhead (John 17:11, 20-23).

God doesn’t want us to be “miles apart.”

Here are eight ways to promote more unity in your relationship:

  1. Pray together. Ask God to bless your relationship and create the “oneness” you desire.
  2. Seek God and imitate Christ. Remember, if you are both Christ-followers: the close each of you draws to the Lord, the closer you will be drawn toward each other.
  3. Study your spouse to understand his/her basic personality, temperament and gifts.
  4. Create undistracted time together to discuss mutual goals.
  5. Show genuine love to each other each day.
  6. Play together. Don’t make marriage just about dealing with all the “hard stuff.”
  7. Be honest. Discuss your and your spouse’s needs.
  8. Remember you are “one flesh.” Sometimes, plan for your partner’s sexual needs; other times, be spontaneous!

Are you “miles apart” from your spouse today? What can you do to shrink that distance and create more unity today?

– Dawn

 

 

 

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Sweeter Than a Candy Heart

14 Feb

I saw some strange Valentine’s Day messages on little candy hearts . . . who would want these messages?

  • Let’s go to therapy
  • You’ll doCandyValentineHearts
  • Desper8
  • Midlife Crisis
  • Yes Dear
  • Only U (for now)
  • U looked better on Facebook
  • Aging Poorly
  • Strike Three
  • Mommy Issues
  • Maxed Out Credit Card
  • Kissed a Frog
  • Infin8 Agony
  • UR Dog Is Cuter

These are NOT the messages we want or need.

We want to know we are cherished and cared for . . . we are deeply loved. We want to know we matter to someone ~ that we belong. We want to know we are understood. We want to know we make a difference and we have purpose. We want someone who isn’t afraid to tell us the truth.

And though we may read these kinds of positive messages on little candy hearts or in Valentine’s Day cards, we want to hear it from someone with skin on, don’t we?  Certainly it’s wonderful to hear it from an earthly friend or loved one . . . but notice with me what the Bible says of Jesus in relation to the Child of God:

JesusCandyHeartJesus loves us so much, He died for us (John 15:13; Romans 5:8).

We belong to Him (Galatians 5:24a).

He understands us and sympathizes with us (Hebrews 4:15).

In Him, we have purpose (Ephesians 1:11; Matthew 28:19; John 15:16).

Jesus IS the Truth, and we can always count on His wisdom (John 14:6; 1 Corinthians 1:30).

He is all of this and more to us.

On this day, Valentine’s Day, when so many exchange chocolates and little candy hearts, let’s take a moment to remember what is sweet and precious:

“No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.”  –  John 15:13   SWEET!

– Dawn

Love, in Spite of Us

12 Feb

A funny Valentine’s Day story appeared in Reader’s Digest:

Richard B. Blackwell wrote, “Every Valentine’s Day, our campus newspaper has a section for student messages. Last year, my roommate surprised his girlfriend with roses and dinner at a fancy restaurant. When they returned from their date, she leafed through the paper to see if he had written a note to her.

“Near the bottom of one page, she found: ‘Bonnie ~ What are you looking for here? Aren’t dinner and flowers enough? Love, Scott.'”(1)

Scott clearly loved Bonnie in spite of her silly hang-up.

Some time ago, I heard my husband’s cell phone ringing and went to retrieve it. He had left it at home, so I called the caller back to let her know.

Then I thought that I should let my husband know. So I called his cell phone.

Yeah, you heard that right. Duh ~ one of my “blonder” moments.

My dear husband has experienced many of my “not quite connecting the dots” thought processes. He is amazed that anyone who loves apologetics, studies Church history, and conducts research for two ministries can come up with the lamest statements.

I’m not stupid, but sometimes my brain just doesn’t fire right…  you know? I heard that Einstein was the same way. I don’t know if that’s true, but it comforts me, somehow.

But my point here is, my husband Bob loves me, just the same. He understands how I function, and he accepts me because he just loves me.

It’s a wonderful picture of God’s love for me, only on a far deeper level.

I have nothing to offer God, in and of myself, because I continually choose the foolishness of sin. What a comfort to know that “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:7-8). He loves me, not for who I am, but for who HE is. And my love relationship with God all began with Him. “We love Him,” the Bible says, “because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Love is a choice … and God chose to love me! I am amazed and grateful.

Aren’t you glad that God loves you, in spite of you (not because of you)? As Christians, we are “accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). We are accepted because of God’s love for His Son, and the loving sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf as a covering for our sin.

Makes me want to create a Valentine for “the Beloved” today. Why don’t you join me and post a note somewhere today expressing your love to Jesus? And take some time in prayer and meditation to reflect on His love and grace that gives and gives and gives … in spite of us.

(1) Reader’s Digest online, “11 Funny Valentine’s Day Jokes,” compiled by Amy Zerello

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