Valentine’s Day is this weekend. A person would have to live under a rock to not know– Jewelers have their commercials to show the “clueless” boyfriend/husband/significant other what she “really wants” this year. Stores advertise their plush animals, cards, candy, flowers and the like, available at reasonable prices. Etc, etc, etc. It can make a person want to boycott the day.
This weekend also marks the opening weekend of a movie rated “R” here in the United States, based on a wildly popular book trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s like the darker cousin to the movie 9 1/2 Weeks that came out in the late 1980’s. It touts the concept that women want to be dominated, controlled in their actions, the way they live and how they have physical relationships. It is a movie that saddens me deeply, is this really how we are supposed to experience love?
My heart continues to sink a bit when I watch television and see shows that portray relationships and marriage as disposable items that can be thrown away or “returned” when no longer desired. Never mind the wake of destruction to be cleaned up.
Marriage in its most basic sense, is to represent the relationship Christ has with His Bride, the Church. Loving, self-sacrificing– not demanding, protective, all characteristics sadly lacking in most marriages today.
I know this verse is used a lot in weddings, but I’d like to see it used a lot in marriages. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).
The thing is, lamenting this broken perspective of marriage doesn’t change this kind of negative behavior. The only way the perspective of marriage can change is for those who are married to choose to stay connected.
We need to choose to show the next generation that we are committed to the person we promised “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, forsaking all others –til death do us part.”
It is the legacy my grandparents left to me and my family, each set of my grandparents were married for over sixty years. It is a legacy I want to leave for my children and future grandchildren.
Love isn’t sappy cards, chocolates-no matter how amazing, or the plush bear that says “I love you beary much.” Love is sticking together when you don’t want to, it’s choosing to forgive your spouse when they don’t follow through on something they said they would. Love is doing the dishes, the laundry, staying up all night with sick kids so your spouse can get some rest. Love is the every day, “boring” activities of going to work, paying the bills, making dinner, and buying the groceries.
Love isn’t being tied up, abused, or dishonored. It isn’t a plush toy or a box of chocolates that disappear too quickly. Love is giving and receiving. Love is powerful. Ephesians 5 is a great example of the kind of Love God calls us to have for each other.
Love is worth fighting for, love matters. Why else would God create it?