Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Happy Valentine’s Day. I say that to you to acknowledge the fact of the holiday and to wish you well, but there is only one person in the world to whom I say Happy Valentine’s Day with all the love this heart can muster, and that’s my precious wife. She is God’s gift to me. She has my heart for the rest of my life.
Of all the passages in Scripture about love, there is none more descriptive of the love between a man and a woman than this one.
Song of Songs 8:6-7 Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. 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.
I have used it as the basis for more wedding ceremonies than any other passage next to the famous love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13. It speaks to my heart about the permanence and public nature of one’s love for their husband or wife.
- The one you love is to seal your heart for a lifetime from any and all other options.
- Your love is to be displayed publicly as an armband, but also as a seal keeping you from ever touching another person in an attempt to woo then or satisfy some lust of your heart.
- Your love is to be as permanent as death.
- You are to never stop fighting to keep your love (jealousy is a Godly attribute – it is the fight to keep what is rightfully yours).
- Your love should ignite every other emotion of your life and burn visibly to all others.
- Nothing in this world can ever quench true love, not matter how fast and furiously they flow into your life.
- Love cannot be bought or sold. You must never exchange the pure gold of true love for any other option or temporary passion.
True love between a man and a woman in marriage (and might I add that is the only kind of marriage God honors), is designed by God to last a lifetime if both individual’s hearts are in love with Jesus Christ as their Savior.
If only we could love like God intends us to love. If only we could move from the emotional side of love to the commitment side of love, then maybe more people would stay married. Love is not an emotion. Emotions are the product of love. Love is a decision to sacrifice self for the sake of another, like Jesus did when He loved us even though we were in rebellion against Him because of our sin. Love ceases – it absolutely ceases – in the moment that we consider ourselves better than or more important than anyone else. You cannot love self and seek to serve self at the same time you claim to love someone else.
That’s convicting, but it’s true. Just look at the reminders of that in 1 Corinthians 13 –
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.
So nail it down – there is only one other person in this world that you can truly love with all your heart while you are loving God with all your heart and that’s your spouse. Be proud of that. It’s not a punishment. It’s to be made public and displayed as a testimony to the world of the love God has for us.