I have the privilege of knowing the sweetest couple. They attend our church and have quickly proven to be faithful friends. My husband, John, and I truly enjoy being with this couple. He and Jim love to talk hunting, and all things related. Connie and I enjoy talking about our men (and isn’t that the way it usually works?).
She posted a picture on Facebook of the two of them from a lifetime ago: as eighteen and nineteen-year-old newlyweds. Sweethearts.
She gazes lovingly over his shoulder as he takes a burger off a grill. It’s nostalgia of the best kind. I can almost feel the warmth in the air, and knowing Connie and Jim the way I do, I can almost hear her playful banter followed by his coy grin and playful comeback. This year they celebrate 37 years of marriage. Godly, prayerful, hard-won marriage.
When I saw the picture, instantly the scripture from Song of Solomon came to my heart, “I have found the one whom my soul loves,” (4:8).
As Valentine’s day quickly approaches, I ask myself, whom does my soul love?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been married for nearly fourteen years to my college sweetheart, and I can truly say I love him more now than ever. He is my one; my “soul” mate, if you will.
But John cannot be the only one whom my soul loves.
In our society, we are chastised to love ourselves first. Take care of ourselves.
As a mom, we love our children, and taking care of them requires much of our attention.
Nurturing and maintaining friendships gets another piece of our hearts.
As I ponder this idea of the one whom my soul loves, I know in my head that is a word picture for Christ in my life. I realize that John is in my life as an example of Christ and his bride, but I’m afraid that Christ doesn’t have all of me at times. I seek approval of my husband, my children, friends, and others. I long to feel accepted, wanted, needed even.
Christ does. He accepts me. Wants me. Needs me. He died for me, after all.
My soul loves John, but our love and relationship should be a human example of our love and relationship with Christ. Connie and Jim would agree.
Our marriages are earthly extensions of our relationship with our bridegroom. I would like to encourage you, to cultivate your love affair with The One. As you celebrate your spouse this Valentine’s Day, rejuvenate your love for Jesus before anything else.
Lord, thank you for the spouse you have given each of us and if we are not yet or no longer married, thank you for being that spouse. You have gifted us with a built in need for relationships and also provided the best example of being in one. Help us to always remember that you are first in our life so that we can give attention to all the other relationships we are blessed with. Amen.