I’m in great deal of pain this morning with my back. I was yesterday too, but it’s worse today. I can barely sit in my chair at my desk much less think of something to write about.
So instead, I’m going to copy & paste another one of my devotionals that I get in my email. This one has some interesting thoughts on Valentine’s Day and the whole year for married couples.
Enjoy! (Prayers for my back would be appreciated)
Moments with You Couples Devotional by Dennis & Barbara Rainey
Be exhilarated always with her love. PROVERBS 5:19
“I really thought romance was something you did on special occasions like Valentine’s Day and your anniversary. But you know, I think my wife might want romance a little more often.”
Valentine’s Day came and went yesterday. All over the country, beautiful cards were opened, heart-shaped candy boxes exchanged hands, and flower vases sprouted up on tabletops and nightstands. Last night, lingerie was worn and thrown on the floor where it belongs. And somewhere in the back of your mind, you might have given yourself some pats on the back for points scored.
Money in the marriage bank. “Okay, that’s done.”
Actually, though, Valentine’s Day should function as a small reminder of the kind of romance we should be cultivating 365 days a year. It should help us see that the reason why Valentine’s Day brings out the best in us – romantically speaking – is because it’s something we mark on the calendar. We plan for it. We go to the store a week in advance to avoid that sick feeling of choosing from the picked-over cards left on February 13.
What if you were that thoughtful and deliberate every time you made plans to romance your spouse? What if you regularly flipped through the Sunday ads, seeing if there was something you could give her that would bring out a smile? What if you gave yourself the assignment of pulling off a surprise Valentine’s Day in the summer or the fall or a week from Wednesday or a month after her birthday—not to give expensive gifts, but just to pick some ordinary days to do some out-of-the-ordinary things?
I hope your Valentine’s Day was fun. But wouldn’t it be a lot more fun if this became your Valentine’s Year?
What if you took turns doing romantic things for one another for the next 30 days? Share what would be fun and romantic to you. Set a minimum of each of you doing three to five things in the coming month.
Thank God for His gift to you and for the love of your life—and for keeping your love life with each other from growing stale.
P.S. I just had to share this one as well.
Love As A Verb
My friend and I sat across the table chatting over lunch. With February being the “month of love” we began to discuss our plans (or lack of plans at that point) for Valentine’s Day weekend. Eventually we moved into sharing some marriage lessons we’ve learned throughout our combined 45 years of marriage.
Without thinking much of it I shared that I’ve learned that love has to mature for a marriage to go the distance. And then I followed that with, “I guess love has to move from being a noun to being a verb.
We both paused and considered the implications of that. My friend said it was one of the most profound things I’ve ever said. While I’m quite sure it’s most likely the only profound thing I’ve ever said, I’ve definitely not been able to get the concept out of my head.
Immature love is a noun. A thing we long for. A feeling. An expectation of what someone will do for us.
Mature love is a verb. An action we take. A decision. A choice to do something for someone else.
Unfortunately too many of us have yet to mature in our love and our relationships bear the scars of that fact. But it’s never too late to grow up. And if we want our love to last a lifetime, we can’t afford to keep believing that love is a noun. The feeling of love is short-lived. We have to transition to understand that long-lasting love is really a verb.
But what does this English lesson of nouns and verbs have to do with real relationships? How do we take this concept and apply it to real life? Maybe these scenarios can help paint the picture:
- Love as a noun spent all last week wondering what your spouse was going to do for you for Valentine’s Day. Love as a verb spent all last week preparing your expression of love for your spouse.
- Love as a noun feels despair when you no longer feel “in love” with the person you are married to. Love as a verb understands the ebb and flow of feelings. It focuses more on expressing love than feeling love.
- Love as a noun demands its own way. Love as a verb works to understand differences and is open to new ways of doing things.
- Love as a noun finds faults in others. Love as a verb gives grace and forgiveness.
- Love as a noun expects others to serve them. Love as a verb serves freely.
- Love as a noun expects to always feel warm and fuzzy and “in love.” Love as a verb realizes that often we have to choose to love even when we don’t feel like it.
The most frequently quoted Bible verse at weddings is I Corinthians 13, which is often referred to as the “love chapter.” It says that “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
It wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that I realized that every time love is mentioned in this often quoted verse, it is a verb. Maybe this concept has been right in front of my eyes all along, but I just didn’t understand it until recently.
The most interesting thing, however, is a less often quoted part of the verse that says, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”
So love has to grow up. It has to mature. Who knew grammar could reveal so much about love?