Sunday, February 16, 2014

Be My Valentine

If it didn’t seem so frivolous, I would say that God is my Valentine. The frivolousness of that idea reflects the trivial nature of love portrayed by Valentine’s Day. I am compelled to quote The Christians Journal of Contemporary Christian History, for Friday February 14, 2014.

To think that Valentine, or any other saint, approved of any two mortals “falling madly, hopelessly in love” and “living only for each other forever” would be quite wrong. In fact, no culture has ever approved of it until now, because it so easily overpowers both marriage and religion. And the disarray today of marriage and religion probably leaves St. Valentine shaking his head.

Until now, all human culturesboth Christian and pagan—saw marriage as a rational and calculated business to unite particular families and clans through allocation of property and the procreation of children of known parentage. Romance was a distraction. Marriage was a duty.

Of course it was always hoped that the couple would come to love each other. But . . . the idea that marriage should happen only if and after a couple “falls in love” was, until fairly recently, ridiculous.

Hey, that’s not to say I’m not a romantic. I fell in love at first sight sixty four years ago and I’m still married to the same girl. And that desperate sense of longing that love inspires provided an initial foundation for our marriage.

But In the mid fifties, love was for marriage and the nurture of subsequent children; not simply a self-satisfying recreation, but a God-ordained means of furthering and cultivating the human race.

Of greater significance, love and marriage is an extension of God’s nature, immersed in eternal love within the Trinity. So He fashioned the triune family: father, mother, and children, and this love between humans should reflect the love that God offers.

What is that love like? Even asking the question shows how far we have come from knowing or understanding it. Here is a testimony of a friend finding His love so unexpectedly.

I knew God as Creator and had absolutely no feeling of separation from Him, having been fed a diet of liberal theology. I knew since God had created me He would redeem me. The song “Holy, Holy, Holy,” meant nothing to me since I had no sense of sin in my own life.

[My friend] Marcella’s pastor proceeded to tell me that salvation was free, and I could be assured of eternal life through accepting Jesus as my Saviour. He showed me the Scripture in Ephesians 2:8: “for by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
That was a new concept to me. . . . I listened while he explained the doctrine of salvation. When he asked me to accept God’s free gift through prayer, I did so.

Well, it wasn’t long before I was experiencing a new range of emotions. First, remorse for past incidents which in the natural I wouldn’t have imagined were sinful; then a peace and a joy, words which were meaningless to me until then. Finally, a love and compassion for others I wouldn’t have believed possible.

“Dead in trespasses and sins,” was an apt description of my previous life, and I hadn’t even known I was dead! When I read John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly,” I knew experientially what the apostle was talking about. How thankful I am that God showed me my need and I responded.

Can our love for our Valentine inspire him or her the same way?


Find God's direction in the Norford's Marriage Devotional, HappyTogether, Available in paperback or kindle from Amazon.

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