By Joan Clayton: PNT columnist
“Will you marry me?” I asked. This tall, lanky, handsome man turned a little pale. He looked like he was thinking, “How do I get out of this?” I guess he felt sorry for me, and he finally said, “I thought you would never ask.”
I didn’t have many girl friends then, for they were after him too, but it was “Leap Year” and who could resist that?
I’m a romantic. I love the romantic love story in Song of Solomon: “Put me like a seal on your heart, like a seal on your arm. Love is as strong as death; jealousy is as strong as the grave. Love bursts into flames and burns like a hot fire. Even much water cannot put out the flame of love; floods cannot drown love. If a man offered everything in his house for love, people would totally reject it.” (NCV)
Think of Jacob who loved Rachel so much he worked 14 years to marry her, even though Rachel’s father had tricked him.
The writer in Proverbs 30:18-19 says, “There are three things that are too hard for me, really four. I don’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.” (NCV)
Falling in love and staying in love is the secret of marriage. Love between a husband and wife must be nurtured with tender care if it’s going to blossom and flourish. Love is being in the presence of the most important person in your life. It is listening to your spouse and seeing with your heart.
Love just doesn’t happen every day with that person you married. It must grow. It’s taking time to communicate with one another with uninterrupted time, allowing time for that “one and only.” It’s at those times my husband whispers, “When I’m away from you, you are all I think about.” Yes, I’m a romantic!
Love recognizes the emotional needs of one another. It means little things … a phone call during the day, a card taped to the mirror, a surprise candlelight dinner for two with a surprise bouquet of flowers.
Love is a lifelong commitment between a husband and wife. It’s a story of a relationship with a person who has faults, just like you and I have. Love supports, defends, protects and honors.
Love is spiritual. It comes straight from the heart of God. I have noticed that couples who include God as a third partner in their marriage are more likely to stay married. I like the adage, “Those who pray together, stay together.” God is honored when husband and wife love each other. What better gift to give to each other and to God … a lifetime commitment of love.
The New Century Version expresses love so aptly in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. Love is not happy with evil but is happy with the truth. Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes and always remains strong.” (NCV)
I have heard many times that a man who loves his wife gives his children a lifelong blueprint of a happy marriage. If the children see and hear such love, they feel secure because God is love.
On this Valentine’s Day, express your love to the One who loves you with the greatest love of all.
His name is Jesus, and “His Valentine is the Bible.”
Portales resident Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and published author. Her e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org