“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7 NIV)
“But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.” (Matthew 24:43 NIV)
This time of the year I think of a story told about my husband that shows his boyish orneriness. Larry’s sister was a teenager, so as Valentine’s Day came, she would usually get a box of candy from her latest beau. Not wanting to disturb the beautiful heart-shaped box, she would set it up in her room, un-opened with cellophane still intact. My husband and his brother would cut a candy sized hole in the bottom and shake all the candy out piece by piece. It was months before his sister would realize the sweet treats were all gone, as well as the thieves who stole them.
Many times, our marriages work in the same way! We set that which is so precious on a shelf, not wanting to disturb the memory of the love and romance we shared. We glance at it occasionally and admire it there on the shelf, as we wait to get the kids raised, make a successful career, and get that elusive American Dream. As years go by, it sits beautifully on the shelf, but we seldom look at it anymore. From the outside it looks okay but inside slowly but surely it becomes empty and a shell of what it was when you carefully placed it on the shelf. Sadly, when we finally have time and think about what we left on that shelf so many years ago, we find the box is hardly recognizable. The thief struck!
Reality struck me one evening as we got a sitter and go out alone. It all sounded like a good idea until we pulled out of the driveway and headed out for our first date night. A sudden awkwardness came over us. The kids were usually with us and we were always talking about them, talking over them, or talking to them. Now it was just him and I. Without realizing, our fancy red box of candy that was set on the shelf had faded and the enemy had stolen many of those sweet morsels that once meant so much. That evening made me realize that if I was to recognize and cherish the one who would sit across the breakfast table, something needed to be done. I set out to restore the battered box filled with sweet memories of romantic days gone by. We, on purpose, found more time for just us. Not always a fancy date, sometimes a walk or a hot tea after the kids were in bed.
Today, as I look across the table, I see the love of my youth. He is not perfect as I am not, but we know each other and still prefer each other’s company to anyone else.
Prayer; You, O Lord, are the One who gave us the love husbands and wives share in marriage. Help us cherish and protect it from the enemy for all our lives.
Happy Valentine’s Day!