Snowflakes flutter on a frosty February afternoon and a flurry of red hearts are everywhere you look.
Romance is in the air!
Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and the pressure’s on with gifts and cards to buy and weekend get-away plans and dinner reservations hopefully already made.
Couples the world over hold their breath in hopes for Hallmark perfection on this holiday of love yet nothing in life is perfect except Him who is love.
Sweet Savior whose heart hung on the cross and Him crying to God to forgive us all our dirty, messy sins. God loving us no matter what.
This is romance raw and real.
And in marriage there is romance in the realities of the moments and days unfolding with all joys and triumphs, tears and pain.
While it may not be all hearts-and-lace pretty there is real beauty in the real romance shared between a husband and wife flawed who keep showing up one day after the next, shoulder-to-shoulder in Christ. Depending on Him and humbly laying down defenses that mask the hurting heart inside, upholding vows even when their soul wants to scream or run away, pushing through to the other side of hard where blessings are birthed.
No matter how different marriage partners may be, they are ultimately alike as sinners saved, and no one better than the other. And they are together in their union to be one with the Spirit and give glory to God. Growing up and growing in love one day at a time.
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:8
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
And the greatest romance of all is the heart’s unconditional surrender to Christ.
Only in surrender can you truly please Him and do His will. Only in surrender will a wife or husband conquer the sinfulness that makes them stingy with their love, forgiveness and grace. Very hardest part of finding joy in marriage is found in losing one’s selfish self.
For if not surrendered, self cries me, me, me all the way home and can make home a place where your mate might not want to be.
Self may pressure a partner with highly romanticized notions of what the perfect Valentine’s Day or the perfect marriage should be creating stress.
Self can stomp or shout when it is not served inviting fear into the union.
But in all the raw there hope in the Real. Hope in the Author of love, marriage and romance. The Creator of stars and seas and whispered breezes who softly speaks, I love you truly, truly Dear.
He loves you and He loves your mate and in Him the two of you can experience the dearest blessings and pleasures that marriage can bring.
Your life married with Christ can be the grandest romantic adventure of all, but it will require courage and calm, helpfulness and hope, forgiveness and faith only available as you press into your Lord.
On this journey wedded there is torrid romance in dying instead of fighting.
Gentle romance in praying instead of speaking.
Persevering and passionate romance in hoping in the midst of disappointments.
And seeing beyond what is to what can be.
So place your hope and trust and your very life itself in Him and your eyes and heart will open. Light will dispel darkness and romance real will fill the void sin has made.
You will learn to treasure rare and precious moments when love sublime swallows you in a sea of forgetfulness of your partner’s faults. And their faults are usually no worse than your own. Mates married are often mirror images reflecting back what you close your eyes to in yourself.
But when both husband and wife choose to reflect Christ to their spouse and to the world everything starts to look different.
Better. Friendlier. More inviting. A good marriage can draw others to Christ.
So fall in love with Jesus and say from your heart: Lord, I dedicate my life to You and going lower in service, putting my mate first, extending grace time and time and time again. Father, I choose to keep forgiving even when I get hurt. I purpose to see beyond the broken and the ugly in my spouse to the best they can be in Christ. And I choose to practice love and respect even when my own soul may be hurting so that I may better honor You.
And when the moonlight and stars in your eyes grows dim, and the twinkle fades and another Valentine’s Day approaches and you just don’t feel like there is anything to celebrate, and maybe you want to hibernate through the holiday, remember the Romance of Christ.
He came to rescue the broken, the hurting, the dirty sinners like you and me and our husbands, too. And spouses participate in the healing of each other’s human frailties and failings, tremblings in fear and perhaps battling demons from long ago that still haunt today.
Let Love fill the deep inside so you can love.
And gift your mate with the best Valentine’s ever.
Forever agape. Forever real…
Wishing you a wonderful weekend full of love true, deep and lasting. Wishing you a lifetime with Jesus, the Lover of your soul.
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