‘Genuine Love Prevails Regardless of Circumstances’
Gale and I have had the great privilege and joy of sharing Valentine’s Day together for several decades, but this year includes something that rarely coincides with this special observance. Admittedly, it is not part of the celebration; it is merely in the plans for the day. Of all the things that we could be doing on the Friday before Valentine’s Day, we are scheduled to have our tax preparation done on February 10! We are supposed to meet with our tax preparer late in the afternoon, so by suppertime we could either be really happy or deeply disappointed if we allow the outcome of our tax reporting to dictate our emotions. But the good news is that whether we have to pay additional taxes or we get a refund, our love and devotion for each other will be unaffected. Genuine love prevails regardless of circumstances. Song of Songs, one of the books of the Old Testament, picturesquely describes the strong and abiding nature of true marital love as God intended it to be: “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” (8:7, New International Version).
We can best appreciate the power of love within marriage when we reflect upon the strong love that God extended to humankind through Christ. Romans 5:6,8 reminds us of how God’s love was made available to us: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Because of God’s great love for us, John writes that we should love each other: “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11). Then when we focus specifically upon the love that husbands and wives are to have for each other, the apostle Paul provides unquestionable instruction that is of immense value to every married man who is wise enough to put it into practice, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
One of the great mysteries of marriage, as God designed it to be between a man and a woman, is that of the two coming together to become one. Christ said regarding this holy institution, “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:6). In that beautiful arrangement that only God could design, the strengths, weaknesses, talents, abilities and backgrounds of two are brought together to form one beautiful whole that is held together by sincere love.
Those of us who have been around for a while know from experience that life is not always a bed of ease and we sometimes find ourselves having to function under great duress. Nevertheless, when love is vibrant and strong, it will prevail even under the most trying circumstances. It is well worth the time and effort of every married couple to persistently invest in their relationship so that their love for each other can mature, grow stronger and be able to endure whatever obstacles of life that come along.