By Joan Clayton
Valentine’s Day is a special day to me. I loved those little pink-colored heart-shaped candies that had all the love words on them. If a boy handed me one of those in grade school, I thought he had to be really in love with me.
I still have a little heart-shaped locket that my “sweetheart” gave me in high school. Guess who my sweetheart was?
I also remember a beautiful, lacy, large valentine that one of my students gave me my first year of teaching. On the back he wrote in unsure cursive handwriting, “I’m in love with you!”
Another student brought me a large box of candy, but decided to take it back home that day. Those chocolates were mighty tempting.
One of the greatest stories of “sweethearts” of all time is the book “The Song of Solomon” in the Bible. It is filled with passion and romance. It tells of the depths and ecstasy of love between Solomon and his bride. Their love for each other depicts the excitement and the mystery of love.
Tears streamed down my face as I listened to our last son pledge his love to his beautiful bride with these words from The Song of Solomon 8:6-7:
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.”
The writer in Proverbs 30:19 states four things that he didn’t understand, “ …the way an eagle flies in the sky, the way a snake slides over a rock, the way a ship sails on the sea, and the way a man and a woman fall in love.”
I’m so glad a certain man fell in love with me! Yet love just doesn’t happen every day with that person you married. It must grow. It means taking time to communicate with one another. That means uninterrupted time, allowing time for that “one and only.” It is at those times that my husband whispers to me, “When I am away from you, you are all I think about…” and I love it!
Love means accepting the responsibility and the willingness to go the second mile. It means sacrifice, patience and most of all forgiveness.
Love recognizes the emotional needs of one another. Love is, “having an affair” with your husband or wife. It means little things … a phone call during the day, a card taped to the mirror, a rose across her vanity.
Marriage is a life long commitment. It is a story of a relationship with a person who has faults, just like you and me have. It is a vow to try to be the best each other could be. Love supports, defends, protects and honors.
God’s love is even a greater commitment and in Jeremiah 3:14, he says to backsliding children, “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you …” (KJV). In other words we are to be faithful to him and to our marriage spouse also. God is honored when a husband and wife love each other. What better gift to give to each other and to God … a lifetime commitment of love.
Love is spiritual and it comes straight from the heart of God.
God is love, and his “love letter” to you is the Bible. Open it today. It is his valentine to you and it is filled with amazing love.
Joan Clayton is a retired teacher, writer and religion columnist living in Portales. E-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org