Valentine's Day - it's one of those occasions when we get a plethora of emails, blog posts and advertisements all about love. Some claim to be experts, laying out a lot of advice on how to maintain your marriage, how to love like you should. Some of the advice is even worth putting into practice.
I have no magic wand, no step by step instructions, no guarantees, but this I know, after 33 years of marriage, you just can't love like you should without the love of Christ in you. And even then, it's hard. But if you keep on trying, keep on leaning on the Lord, one day you wake up and realize that you've made some progress. Maybe just a little, but enough to notice, and then the joy comes, and the gratitude and the grace.
Then you begin to understand that what the Psalmist David says is true - "You have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.... (and) you have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence with eternal pleasures at your right hand" (Psalm 16-5-11).
Then you discover that as his love flows into us it flows out, as naturally as a spring of water, leaving us changed, refreshed and ready to receive and give out yet again. "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Love is given out as it is received. We are able to love because we know in the depth of our souls that we are well and truly loved.
Visit Marcia's website to learn more about her writing/speaking ministry.