Agape Love on Valentines

According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. consumers will spend just over $18 billion on valentines. This includes jewelry, flowers, cards and clothes. 

Although there is nothing wrong with celebrating Valentine’s Day with a special gift for the special person in your life, there’s no doubt that as a society we can get caught up in the consumeristic aspect of the day. But if Valentine’s Day is truly about love, shouldn’t we focus on what kind of love should reflect this day? Or better put- shouldn’t this day reflect an overflow of the love that has been shared over the past year?  

This day should be a reflection of a love that is selfless, giving, serving and patient. The ancient Greeks called this love- Agape love. This is the love that God has for His children. It’s an unconditional, no holds barred love. It’s the kind of love that is should grow when two become “won.” 

 This love is sacrificial, forgiving, patient and kind. It’s the kind of love that I strive to show my wife on a daily basis, though I may fail. It’s the kind of love we read about in 1 Corinthians 13. It’s the kind of love that Jesus has for us.
So today, let’s celebrate the love that we were shown on the cross. Let’s celebrate Agape love.  

Why Is Marriage Fun?

You may hear this a lot- Marriage is fun. But have you ever stopped to think why someone would say that? At the same time someone may say, “marriage is work? Well which one is it-fun or work? How could something that requires work also be fun?
Yes, marriage does require work. Two imperfect people coming together to share life experiences dies require work. But anything that is worth having is worth working for. That’s where the fun comes.  

Work may carry a negative connotation when it comes to marriage. After all, we are told that “there’s someone out there who’s perfect for you” or “wait for that perfect someone.” That my friends is flawed way of thinking. Scripture tells us that nobody is perfect in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” 

So what’s so fun about two imperfect people coming together in a relationship that requires work? There are 5 things about our marriage relationship that make it fun:

1. Growing to know the one you love

2. Serving each other in love

3. Making memories with your love

4. Growing in intimacy 

5. Growing together in God’s love

What do you think is fun about marriage?  

The Day I Almost Ran

I was playing around with a rambunctious, five year old kid, tickling his sides and underarms. This energetic, fast moving boy was giggling hysterically. All of a sudden, I stepped away and froze as if I had been injected with a paralytic drug. I was motionless for what seemed an eternity and could not muster any words. As I stood in shock, I considered my options: politely smile, run for the door or just walk to another room. All these thoughts raced through my mind leading me to no specific action.  

What happened that caused me to go from playing with this kid to standing in shock? Well, I’ll try the short version. I was dating a nice, pretty lady and we wanted to spend some time together. So I went to see her at her mom’s house, which at the time was also her house. As we sat on the couch talking, in comes this kid who would not be ignored. I had met him before but never like this. He sat next to me as if to say, “look at me!”  

So I started tickling him and then it happened: this young kid, full of personality yelled “daddy! daddy!” That’s when I backed up in surprise and shock. Of course, after a few minutes I played it off but I definitely wasn’t ready for that.


To understand his reaction you’d have to know that he grew up without his biological father. His mother played both roles exceptionally well with family support. She was always and has always been a strong and determined woman. It is safe to say that after some thought and dealing with my own demons that kid stole my heart. I think I may have proposed to him first.  


After Lisa and I became “won” I adopted that rambunctious kid and he has grown into a fine, independent, young man. And I am proud of his giving heart. Thank you Robert, for accepting me in spite of my flaws. I can’t imagine life without you.

Marriage Work 

The work involved in marriage can be compared to a home improvement project. When we built our house 10 years ago there was that excitement of a newly built house and and trying to make sure that everything stayed spotless and clean. That emotional high lasted about two years. 
After that, cares of the world and other interests made us a little more complacent about keeping up with the new house. All of a sudden, the occasional dust and occasional scratches on the paint became less of an emergency. There was more of a laissez-faire attitude. Well, as we buckled down recently and decided to do home-improvement projects including painting and staining cabinets and hardwood, we are surprised at how much dust and scratches they were all around. We also got into the landscaping and found that weeds had over taken some of the plants and bushes.


Friends, if we treat our marriage like this, not paying attention to the scratches, dents and weeds all around, eventually this will be all that is seen. This will cause the relationship to become stale and lifeless. The energy involved in repairing such a situation can be overwhelming because one does not know where to start.  

Therefore, I urged those that are married to continually make small repairs, adjustments and tune ups. The life of your marriage depends on it.  

Forgetting What’s Behind-Staining Ahead 

If I haven’t made anything clear in my posts, I hope I have been clear about the fact that marriage isn’t easy. Any relationship takes work. In a marriage relationship, where two people are together so much, this is especially true.  
The thing about the perfect institution of marriage is that two very imperfect people join to be “won.” Imperfect people have a past, they have baggage, and they continue to stumble. I know that both Lisa and I fall very short of perfection and I’m sure there are times she would like nothing better dented hit me over the head with a frying pan. 

But in order for fellowship with God to continue, our earthly relationships also have to be in order. This is especially true in the marital relationship. Although not a text about marriage, in Philippians 3:13-14, Paul writes about knowing that he has not attained perfection, he “strains forward” forgetting what’s behind. “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  

In the same way, Lisa and I must press forward, leaving past hurts, arguments and disappointments behind and straining forward to maintain our “woness.” This is definitely work. It takes determination and strength, but the payoff is great!

Love Is The Way

Marriage is not easy. It takes work, it takes sacrifice, it takes mutual submission and it takes understanding. Most importantly, marriage takes a solid foundation. 
In our marriage the love of Christ provides the necessary foundation for us to function as “won.” This is a foundation based on sacrificial love modeled after our Savior’s love for us. Not that we have attained a perfect marriage, since we are both imperfect, but this is the love for which we strive.


1 Corinthians 13:7-8a describes the love we hope to attain daily.    

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” This is my favorite part of this “love chapter” because, in my mind at least, it describes the “love work” involved in a marriage. We bear, believe, hope and endure.  

In this manner, love never ends. And this is the way of love. 

5 Steps To Being Able To Forgive Your Spouse 

In my last post I described the importance of forgiving your spouse. Now I would like to list five ways in which someone can come to the point where they are for giving their spouse. First let me be clear, in cases of infidelity or physical abuse forgiveness should come later. Trust is a whole different topic. But while the spouse is working and hopefully praying through this, he or she may want to remove themselves from the abusive situation and obtain spiritual council.
But if you’re holding on to a hurt and you just cannot forgive your spouse, you may want to consider five ways to be able to get to that point:

1. Consider the probability that your spouse may not know exactly what is troubling you or what’s been done to offend you. 

 Not telling your spouse also prevents him or her from apologizing. In other words, if you want your spouse to repent give them a chance.

2. Pray for clarity. 

If there has been a continuous offense that has been pointed out previously without an apology extended, the spouse really needs to make his or her feelings known. If however, you’re stewing over an offense that occurred several months ago, then you need to pray that God would give you clarity and peace of mind. This may give you an aerial view of the situation instead of a telescope view. In turn, forgiveness may come easier.

3. Instead of focusing on past hurts focus on the reasons you fell in love 

Changing your thought perspective may actually prevent you from slipping into bitterness. Accentuate the positive and think less about the negatives. This does not mean that your feelings don’t have to be communicated however. But if you’re just having problems getting over something that has already been discussed, changing your mindset, of which you have total control is an effective tool.

4. Pray that God gives you strength to forgive.

The importance of forgiveness was discussed in my last post. The most important reason to forgive your spouse is the fact that God has forgiven us. Your “woness” is much more important than holding on to old grudges. 

5. Read and meditate on 1 Corinthians 13
Instead of stewing on the past hurt or wondering why you did not receive the kind of apology that you wanted, it may help to focus on Paul’s word in 1 Corinthians 13:4-6.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.” 

I hope this helps a couple having problems in this area.