Valentines Day has been celebrated since 500 AD, but the idea of expressing romantic love was around long before lacy red heart cards, conversation candy hearts, or pictures of "Fabio" with flowing locks and a pumped up chest on the cover of grocery store novels. Two weeks from today many will celebrate Valentines Day, but between now and then, let lovers beware ...
Every media avenue will be filled with images of the perfect gift, well groomed beautiful couples, candlelight dinners, elegant jewelery, glossy chocolates, and fresh flowers. Internet ads will make it easy to order, grocery ads will offer ideas, blogs will be filled with suggestions, and tv commercials will convince us "every kiss begins with Kay." :) Facebook will be filled with other people sharing and showing what they are doing, got, or hoping for. Are you getting excited just thinking about it !?!?!?!? Me too, and that's the danger.
It's not easy to "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5b), but if we let the world convince of what love should look like, we set ourselves us for disappointment, and we pave the way for placing unrealistic expectations on Fabio ... .I mean, our spouses. ;)
Philippians 4:8 tells us to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. At first glance, you might think that all adds up to .... FABIO! .... complete with a rose, a diamond heart necklace, and a box of chocolates. But one way we love our spouse is to go back to word number one: TRUE.
- Who is he? ... What's HIS love language? How is HE creative? What are HIS thoughts toward you?
- What are his resources? ... How much time does he have? How much energy? How much money?
- Where is your relationship? ... What season are you in? What are you working on? How close are you now?
Having TRUE expectations of one another is one way we take our thoughts captive and one way we love each other. It's one way we apply our faith to life .... on Valentines Day.
Let's set ourselves up for contentment with our spouse and for acceptance of his love expressions. In a world full of tv shows like the Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars, we might start to think our love is rather unexciting and uninspiring. Instead of expecting our love to look like relationship images we are about to be bombarded with through media, let's turn our attention to what God's desire is for romance:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
That's intense love, friends! That's passion! Top that Fabio!
God wants a beautiful, faithful romance for us, and obedience to His truth leads to that kind of love. Valentines Day is two weeks away. Think about what's TRUE about the spouse God gave you. Take every thought captive as suggestions come your way, and start celebrating the love you share today, even if the calendar says you should do it February 14th. ;)
Happy Marriage Mondays to you and your Fabio.