Sunday, March 9, 2014
LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE!
After a couple of more serious blogs, I thought I’d throw a few more fun thoughts out there, for balance you know.
Divorce is a crappy experience, right? And for most of us, it’s a heartbreaking experience. There are those, I know, who find it to be a deliverance from an awful homelife, I was reminded as I watched “Sleeping With The Enemy” again the other night. But even when it is a deliverance, it is still heartbreaking and difficult.
During divorce and the aftermath, sometimes it is helpful to find something to smile about, because there is so much that can drag you down. I am a person who enjoys all sorts of humor, including humor that can sometimes be a little dark, and somehow, I decided, I’d make up a list of the “bright side” of divorce, and maybe it will bring that smile. Some are more serious than others, some, though true, bring a bittersweet smile, but take it in the spirit intended, and maybe something in it will brighten your day. So here is my little list, hopefully pieces relevant for both genders:
1) You can now sleep on whichever side of the bed you want to…even catty whompus diagonal across the middle. In other words, you can have the whole TOP side! And, for a bonus, you even get to keep all the covers!
2) If you don’t like broccoli, or Brussels sprouts, there won’t be anybody making them whose feelings will be hurt if you don’t at least taste them, neither will you have to pretend that the burnt steak from the grill actually tastes good.
3) You won’t have to decide where to invest your money. (The court and the attorneys will be very willing to help decide where to direct your finances.)
4) The toilet paper WILL be dispensed the “CORRECT” way, the toothpaste rolled or squeezed (which YOU know it is the best method) and the toilet seat will be left exactly how you want it left.
5) Your grocery bill will be substantially less. (And, if you are a guy like most guys, substantially less healthy, too!)
6) If you remarry, you will get a “second honeymoon,” but with a different person, making it two “first honeymoons” instead!
7) You don’t have to watch action movies (or romantic movies) unless you want to.
8) If you’re a guy, there will be more room in the bathroom medicine cabinet with the makeup gone and you won’t have to use shower gel stuff if you want to use soap.
If you’re a woman, you won’t have to fight against the bathroom smelling like a locker room, or find bits of shaving cream, toothpaste and who knows what else left on the counter and in the sink.
9) If you want to take the kids to
Disneyland, it doesn’t matter whether you spouse wants to
go or not, you can just take them! (financial
10) The house can be decorated, depending on your gender, with all the pastels or trophy deer heads you want!
11) If you break a dish or the faucet, there won’t be anybody around to remind you that it is all your fault!
12) And, odds are, you will now win most of the adult arguments in your home…unless, of course, you are a person who beats yourself up a lot or the old multiple personality disorder kicks in.
13) Either you will now get to find out how the television remote control works OR you will no longer hear complaints about the way you work it.
14) If you want to go to the all night store at three in the morning, you can do so, and not only will nobody mind, nobody will even notice!
15) When you leave something in the fridge, it will still be there next time you go back for it (unless you have teenagers, in which case you should install a revolving door on your refrigerator anyway).
Well, those are a few bright sides, perhaps. And when so much is lost, sometimes it really does help to find something to consider a bright side. There are some positive things that can happen as a result of a divorce, but they come with a pretty high price. But then, so does staying in a really bad marriage, right?
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
ANGER MANAGEMENT, PART TWO
Can I tell you something funny? A friend of mine passed a copy of my first book to someone he knew might benefit from some of the things in it. Apparently, when she got it, she went straight to the topical index, and then asked him how come I didn’t have anything listed in the topic of rage! When he told me about it, I mentioned that she will find relevant discussions under the topic of anger, however, do you sense what she was saying? I did. As a result, the second book has rage as one of the topics listed in the index (mainly because, as I recall, I chose to go back and write a devotion specifically on that topic)!
Now, granted, the index was never intended to be exhaustive, and there are lots of topics addressed that may not be listed under one name or another in the index, but I think her point highlights something profound about the divorce experience.
If there is one word that describes the emotions of divorce, the word would be “intensity.”
There is an intensity to the anger that comes, resulting in that woman’s search for the word “rage.” But it is not only in anger, for there is also a profound loneliness, a deep sorrow and sense of loss, an aching sense of hurt or betrayal, a dramatic uncertainty about the future…the list is almost endless, but for many, they are not merely emotional responses to the experience, they are incredibly strong emotional responses. But for many, anger is one of the most difficult, because it can turn so destructive and make one feel so very ugly and unlovable. So I wanted to follow up with one more post about anger.
I have noticed far too many times in the news, stories about suicide/murder crime scenes, in which an individual kills the spouse and children, and then themselves, frequently a male being the perpetrator. And in recent years, there have been several stories of mothers who have attempted to kill their children along with themselves in the midst of their emotional trauma. More than once I have heard people absolutely stunned with disbelief that anybody could do something like that. But for those of us who have been through the divorce process, while we may be repulsed by the choices they made, we tend to be more able to relate to the intense emotions that led to their choices. And, I hope, are grateful that we never got to that point ourselves! (You know, the old “but for the grace of God, there go I” sort of thing.)
This intensity is what is often missed in the misrepresentations of divorce we see portrayed so often, and even the most caring of friends and family will never fully appreciate how difficult it truly is. Every once in a while it peeks out, as you may recall hearing when, for example, the media was playing the intended-to-be-private tirade of Alec Baldwin toward his daughter a few years ago. Regardless of what other issues contributed to that situation, it is a clear reflection of the intensity of emotion aroused by divorce and its aftermath.
I would like to offer a few ideas to help with that intensity of anger (though some will apply to other emotions, as well).
1) Recognize that it is transitional. The divorce process is very much an in-between sort of time of life. You aren’t yet out of a previous marriage, but not yet single, either. The old life is still in the process of separation, while the new life cannot be fully embraced until court issues are settled.
2) Realize that healing takes time. The intensity of the anger will subside (unless you nurture it), but it does not subside overnight. Just as burning your hand on the stove hurts intensely at first, and continues to hurt intensely for a while in the healing process, so the anger does not instantly stop as your heart heals.
3) Create appropriate buffers. This can mean having a disinterested party read over the email you are about to send. It can mean that when certain emotional signals arise (such as despair for those who might be suicidal), you have contracted with yourself to seek the outside help of a counselor or pastor immediately. Another place it can arise is to choose to communicate indirectly, though responsibly, so as to not stir up additional anger in yourself or your ex (such as writing instead of face to face, or sending needed information through the attorney).
4) Make wise choices about your emotions. If you are feeling extremely lonely, it is wiser to go spend time with friends or family than to sit in isolation and feed that emotion. The same is true with rage and anger. One of the ways I find helpful is to think about the choice in terms of whether I will be able to look myself in the mirror afterwards, if I make a certain choice. Another is to seek wise counsel, maybe a friend, maybe the attorney, maybe someone who has gone through it before, and be willing to listen to their advice.
5) Never act out of the anger without first delaying that action at least 24 hours. Somehow, simply the time to let the feelings settle a bit helps add to one’s perspective. This is especially true in communications you might initiate…better to sit on it a while first.
6) Establish a guiding principle or two for yourself, such as, “if I am going to err in my decisions, I want to err in the direction of being too kind, rather than too harsh, or having done more than I had to, rather than not as much as I should have.” Or perhaps, “I will never act based on anger without first having gotten at least two outside opinions from people who are not mere “yes” people in my life.”
7) Take some reflective time to consider the real source of your anger. Often the intensity of the anger is directly related to the intensity of the hurt, or the sense of unlovability because of the betrayal. Maybe the anger is a result of fear, whether fear of the future or fear of being alone for the first time.
8) When your anger moves up to rage, don’t try to handle it all alone. Develop a confidante with whom you can share who will allow you to vent, and can offer some perspective and balance in a helpful way.
9) If you and your ex have children, NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER forget that the ex is still the mother or father that your children love, and that is as it should be. Do not let YOUR anger (or try to use your anger to) infect the hearts and minds of your children. Teach them to be better people than that.
10) ALWAYS take time to talk with God about your anger…even if your anger is directed toward God! Don’t merely talk TO God about it, allow God to speak to you as well. Pay attention to the words of the music at church or the Christian radio, seek God’s voice in the pastor’s message, and be diligent about time spent reading your Bible (there are lots of lessons about anger in it!).
Well, those are some thoughts. Maybe one of them can make a difference for you or for a friend. There will be mistakes made, none of us is perfect. But you can minimize the regret you have later, by being wise during this tumultuous, though temporary, time of life.
Monday, March 3, 2014
I am always impressed with couples who manage to get through a divorce without a lot of anger, hostility or bitterness. (Sometimes, they have done it so well I have wondered why they bothered to get divorced at all!) In spite of the illusions created through television and movies, it doesn’t happen very often, and from what I have seen factors that seem to make the difference include whether or not there are children, if finances are manipulated, or if there is an affair all have significant impact on the emotional outcomes. However, sometimes it is also merely a matter of temperament, the kinds of choices the individuals makes, and sometimes it is merely the matter of one individual simply acquiescing to accept whatever injustices are imposed. Those who acquiesce are sometimes very forgiving people and do so in a manner that might serve them well over time, while others acquiesce in a way that is merely stuffing resentments that surface later on.
In Ephesians 4:26, Paul warns us against harboring anger by challenging us to not allow the day to end with anger still in our hearts. Hebrews 12:15 warns against allowing bitterness to take root in our souls, because it infects others and cuts us off from the grace of God. In divorce, trying to take these verses seriously is a real challenge.
It is a difficult choice to not let the various injustices, betrayals and fears foster these emotions. Eviction from your home, financial uncertainty thrust upon you, lies cast your way, lack of concern for your needs, abandonment by an individual you once trusted an loved dearly…these all create such tension that anger and rage easily surface. In fact, for many of us, they are almost unavoidable, and the behavior of some spouses in the process of divorce exacerbates those feelings almost daily. Sometimes these emotions become so hardened that the individual nurtures and carries their anger and hatred for many, many years, creating not only problems between the two, but even enslaving the angry person in a bondage of bitterness and rage.
It is even more disturbing, I believe, when those feelings get handed down to children. All too often children form opinions and judgments based on childish interpretations of the things they observe, and then jump into the anger bandwagon toward one parent or another. Very often, they discover much later their mistake, and that they have adopted feelings that are not theirs to have, based on information that has been represented from only one perspective. It is very sad to see, especially when that attitude infection passes on unsuspected for many years.
So what to do? I don’t believe that anger has NO place in our lives…even Jesus experienced anger in his life and acted upon it on several occasions. But he never harbored his anger or allowed it to fester into rage and bitterness. And the anger he tended to act upon was anger he experienced over the mistreatment of others, not of himself. Peter mentions that when he was persecuted himself, he chose silence as his response. I have known people who managed this path in divorce, though most struggle with it.
The key, I believe, is not so much whether or not you feel angry, as to what you let your anger do.
Do you make your choices and actions based on anger?
Do you allow your anger to fester, or do you deal with it daily?
Does anger harden your heart into bitterness and hatred, or do you forgive offenses as they arise, refusing to carry them from one day to the next?
If you are years out of your divorce, does the anger still rage within, or have you honestly let it go?
Do you allow, no encourage, your children to love their other parent, or, out of your own anger, do you poison their minds with misinformation and personal interpretations that turn them against the other parent?
It doesn't mean you cannot be honest with them about shortcomings of the other parent, but it does mean you acknowledge forthrightly that even with all their shortcomings, the other individual is still their parent and, as such, deserves some degree of respect from the child.
God’s call is to forgive, for James reminds us that our anger does not attain the level of the righteous anger that only God has.
Being angry is not a very pleasant way to live, nor does it win one very many friends. I certainly don’t enjoy being around angry people, do you? The destructive emotions of festering anger, resentment, hatred and bitterness will rob you of the joy and very presence of God in life. Take a stand, move toward forgiveness and mercy. It is the way of living that God honors. And, it will keep you in touch with the grace of God for yourself, as well.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
DIVORCE SURVIVAL KIT
With much of the
United States having experienced
harsher winters with power outages and dangerous roads that result in stuck
vehicles, individuals have been aware that they need an emergency kit to get
them through the temporary difficult time.
Food, water, something to help keep warm…that sort of thing.
Divorce can be similarly disabling. What items might be a in a kit to survive the temporary experience of divorce proceedings? Of course, there are some you wish you could take, that tend not to be real life, such as unlimited finances for tough times, or magic salve that can take away all the pain. But even without those, there are some valuable things that ARE realistic to help you through. Here are some suggestions, in no particular order:
1) A good sense of humor--someone told me to find something that brings joy at least once a day
2) Support network--make sure you have friends and family you can turn to for encouragement and strength, including safe places to mourn the loss of the marriage and the hurts you experience
3) Medical attention--you may need medicine to help with depression/anxiety, and your immune system may drop with the stress
4) Distractions--it is a good thing to have something to focus on sometimes besides your own situation, a place you volunteer, a group you are part of, meetings you attend, projects you are working on, that sort of thing
5) Responsibilities--this can be a job, caring for the children, pets, helping parents, church offices…someplace that your contribution matters
6) A guide--a pastor, counselor, confidante…someone with whom you can discuss the feelings you have and the decisions you face who is able to give you some objective feedback
7) Reminders of your worth—some things that remind you of contributions and differences you have made in the world, things that illustrate you CAN do something, and you ARE of value…because it is easy to lose track of that when divorce is beating you up
8) Dreams- -to counter the hopelessness that can come, even one thing you are looking forward to in life, whether a trip, a change, a challenge, whatever…something that can give you hope for the future
9) Reservoir of love--out of which you can continue to offer the love you have to give, to those who are able and willing to receive it, your children, your friends, your family. Just be careful that you don’t get ahead on this one and mistake love for inappropriate needy relationships started too early in vulnerable days
10) Faith--to remind you to Whom you belong, and that you don’t walk alone, to give you patience to endure and trust that God is still in charge, working for your eternal good
I didn’t want to add it to the list, but it is true that a good attorney who will look out for your interests does make a huge difference. If you think of others, feel free to add comments to share with others who might read this blog.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
NO COST MARRIAGE!
If you wanted to be a welder, you need to take some kind of classes or apprenticeship. If you want to be able to do CPR, you need the classes for that, too, even though you may only use it once or twice your entire life! If you want your business to succeed, you are going to have to invest some finances into it, either as startup capital or maybe in paying for a college or tech school education to prepare you. Here in
Kansas, even if you want to drive a car, you
have to go through some kind of class or training, and prove yourself
But if you want to get married, all you have to do is find somebody else willing and show up at the ceremony with a positive answer! Isn’t it something that one of the most profound and difficult challenges we will ever face in life…to love, honor, till death do you part, etc…requires no or little training?
Another way to look at it might be in terms of finances. These days, couples spend literally thousands and thousands of dollars on the few hours of the wedding ceremony and celebration, using hours upon hours of meticulous planning to make sure everything goes just right. And some couples spend thousands and thousands of dollars on attorneys to dissolve the vows from that ceremony. But those same couples balk at the idea of spending a few hundred dollars, or a few hours a week, with a marriage counselor, or taking marriage classes as a way to learn how to make this most important of human commitments viable, meaningful and successful. We’d rather spend the money on the ceremony or the attorneys, when, as with any other venture in life, a few wise investments along the way can yield bountiful results and great cost savings in the long run.
Parenting is the same way. As was pointed out in the movie, “Parenthood,” there are no qualification requirements to be given permission to have a child…any and all kinds of people become parents with no training or preparation about what is necessary to raise that child. We do what we think based on whatever examples we have seen…good or bad… and what we guess is a good idea, but to really have been properly trained?
We observe this in parenting, and are so open to parenting classes, videos, books and tons of other resources as we seek help. But all too often I have seen that individuals who could really benefit from marriage counseling/classes/retreats/books balk at the idea as if going to those things is tantamount to failure. In reality, NOT seeking the guidance that could come or at least seeking to learn how to be a better marriage partner/couple is what leads to failure! And in those cases, the times I see couples finally go to counseling, one or both of them has already given up and is only going through the motions. Sometimes I am wrong, but not often enough.
Today’s blog is very simple. I have had many plants in my life who, if they could speak, would bear witness to the fact that NOTHING grows without adequate nurture and care, and many of my plants have turned brown to prove it to me.
If you are divorced, and may be getting remarried someday, my question is, are you going to do the work it takes to make a new relationship work, or are you only going to invest in the wedding ceremony?
If you are married, whether the first marriage or not, are you investing seriously in the success of that relationship, or are you merely skating along assuming it will survive?
Frankly, I think we’d be better off having a $25 wedding ceremony, and a $25,000 dollar marriage if we had to choose, don’t you? Choose and invest wisely, that choice will make a difference for your entire life!
TL:dr A good marriage requires real investment, investment we often neglect until it’s too late
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Or at the least, Blindsided!
Many people who are divorced will see this words, and remember the day they were served with divorce papers unexpectedly. Or ways they felt ambushed by their ex during the process of divorce with one filing or court order after another. And the words can certainly apply to those experiences.
However, I am thinking of a different kind of experience that occurs in the days post divorce, the kinds of experience that catch you off guard, and yet bring healing and forward motion in spite of how they feel. Let me illustrate.
There are some times when the ambush or blindside IS directly related to actions by an ex spouse. Times like when you attend parent/teacher conferences at the school, and discover that the teacher didn't prepare a second copy of a report and your ex took the only one without mentioning that another parent would be along.
Or you can find yourself in an awkward situation when you are in a discussion…maybe making plans with the kids, or interacting with a friend…and then a comment is made that completely undermines your expected result. Such as giving a child a Christmas present, only to find that your ex already gave them one. Or talking about plans for a birthday party, only to find that the child has been promised they could go visit grandma on their birthday instead. Or when you visit with a friend about an experience you had, only to find that the waters have been poisoned with the spin your ex put on the story previously.
Episodes like the above are all events that directly result from actions and decisions by your ex. These, of course, can be difficult, and foster anger, resentment and frustration. If done intentionally, or even with flagrant disregard for your rights or feelings, they can bring a lot of pain, and stir up a lot of history. These kinds of things happen almost inevitably in one fashion or another. They become the opportunities to understand on a deeper level Jesus’ command for us to forgive “70 x 7.” Much as we don’t like them, they do build character and cause you to decide whether you are going to be a forgiving person or a bitter person who harbors grudges! I wanted to acknowledge these “ambushes,” but they are not the ones I want to focus upon.
There is an another context in which one is “ambushed” or “blind-sided” after a divorce. The ambush is not one brought about by your ex, but one the stirs from your own emotions and memories. There are moments that suddenly cause your heart to stop, perhaps in dread, perhaps with painful memories, perhaps with a sense of loss or even a sense of guilt.
Have you ever had a song come on the radio, and then unexpectedly found yourself back in a time in life long since past, perhaps a difficult time of marriage or an ancient argument? I remember once opening a box and discovering a long lost item I had looked for but been unable to find. It stirred up feelings of anger as I remembered packing up all my things during the divorce. Another time, an individual may run across a child’s toy, and find their eye stained with tears as they recall a happier time, now shattered by divorce. It happens in all sorts of contexts, whether in hanging Christmas decorations, stumbling across an old Valentine, driving pasts an old favorite restaurant, opening an album of photos, seeing an old rerun on television…the list is endless. But the items on the list all have one thing in common: they open you up to unfinished business.
These episodes remind us of things from our past, and either help us to realize how far we have come, or reveal to us that we have yet to forgive and yet to move on. They can become treasures of memories from that time causing us to celebrate the good, or plagues that force us to face that there are ways we are still living in our past and carrying harbors of anger or resentment. The question, of course, is, “What do you do when an ambush forces you to see things about yourself you would rather not see?” Some people build on the reserve of anger, blaming the ex for all that has been done. And the truth is, sometimes the ex does deserve the blame for problems he/she created. But how your respond to those things emotionally is NOT about your ex….it is about you.
With each of these events, we have the opportunity to lay to rest a troubled area we may not have realized was still there, or to affirm the good that existed we may have forgotten as we wrestle with the pain and loss of divorce. And making those choices wisely moves us toward healing and wholeness.
When one is divorced, it is tempting to think that life would have been so much different if only…
...If only I hadn't married that person,
........if only we had gone to counseling earlier,
.............. if only I had been a better spouse,
......................if only he/she hadn't divorced me,
................................................if only whatever…then life would not be as hard or I wouldn't have the pain or any number of other imaginings.
While there may be some truth to those conclusions, the truth also is that even if you never divorced, there would be memories that are difficult, disappointments that had come, heartaches you would have experienced and hopes that would have been dashed. Life is just that way. Not everything goes the way we think it should, and brokenness is rampant in this world. Yet God is at work in it all, shaping us, teaching us, healing us, making us to be more compassionate beings, to be more like Christ. You may have been blind sided, but God was not. In fact, God may well orchestrate these little events for the very purpose of setting us free from the things that have held our hearts and minds hostage. Think about that, next time you find yourself “ambushed” by life!
P.S. Hey, I’m in the final stages of editing another book that I hope to publish soon. I’m not sure the method I will use, and would appreciate prayers for the project. It is a life based fiction…I’ll keep you posted.
TL:dr The unexpected events that prick our memories are opportunities God can use to prick our growth as well.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Down through the years, love has been defined is so many ways by a great many people. Some of those definitions are very moving, some tear jerking, and, frankly, some just seem kind of sappy/stupid! Scripturally, love was not merely defined, but demonstrated by the love of God for us who gave his Son Jesus upon a cross to die that we might be set free from sin and live in eternity with him.
For Valentine’s Day, though, I’d like to remind you, no matter your station or situation in life, of what I think is the greatest explanation of love I have ever heard, and that is Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians 13:4-6. I am going to share it with some comment below (using the English Standard Version in bold). As you read it, if you are divorced, it may help you understand how far your marriage had been from what love really is. And for each of us, it serves as a reminder of how far we have yet to grow in our ability to love well, since, after all, Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a celebration of love.
Love does not envy or boast; Some people are so about themselves, there is nothing else they will talk about. They are unable to rejoice at anything good that another person experiences, instead being filled with jealousy or envy because they wish it was the good had happened to them instead. In the relationships of your life, are the ones you love as concerned for you as for themselves? Or better yet, more for you than for themselves? Have you been too sure that nothing was your fault or responsibility, boasting of how good a job you had done, that all the problems were the fault of your spouse?
It is not arrogant or rude. In your marriage, did you feel an equal, or like your partner thinks themselves better than you? Was basic common courtesy and decency long gone? These days, rude is such a common characteristic that if you are polite or considerate to another person, they see that as odd! In a marriage, consideration should be the hallmark, don’t you think?
It does not insist on its own way; If I could tell you all the couples that have been in my study for counseling whose core issue could have been solved by this simple phrase, you would be astounded. Do you have to have your own way? Honestly? Did/does your spouse? I have known many people beaten down in a marriage that by this one single measure was clearly NOT a marriage of love.
It is not irritable or resentful; At this point, I kind of wish the description of love had stopped a few phrases ago, because I am sometimes a person who gets irritated far too easily. To the degree I do with my wife, that is the degree to which I am NOT acting from love. And resentful? Are there things you resent in your relationship? Like that you have to do more than your share of the housework? Or that the times you have tried to do something nice for your spouse, they were neither acknowledged nor appreciated? You see, all of these characteristics are a two edged sword. We may easily see how our ex or even our current spouse does not fit these criteria…but the challenge is, to see how we do as well. Growth does not come by focusing on somebody else’s shortcomings, only our own.
It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Sometimes it is too easy to point out the faults of others. Those faults are always there, and if that is what you focus on, that is what you will find. But it isn’t love if you do. And how often do juicy bits of gossip cross your lips or ears? Why do any of us delight in hearing those things? Truth. Ah, that is a challenge, isn’t it? Could your relationship be described with the word true? As in faithful, or as in honest? Lots of married couples play lots of relationship games and live in webs of silly little lies, instead of dwelling in honesty and truth. What deceptions have described your relationships?
Love bears all things, Okay, so what are you willing to put up with? What are the limits? Do the words “all things” describe your answer?
Believes all things, Do the people you love know that you believe in them? Have they believed in you?
Hopes all things, What are the limits at which you become hopeless? What are the things you consider as impossible in your relationships? Is your love lost because you no longer hope anything for the relationship?
Endures all things. Too often today, nobody wants to endure anything. If it gets hard, we quit. We think it should just all come easy. Some of the greatest love in marriage is never experienced because the couple weren't willing to endure. They quit. They gave up before the solution came. Divorce is not how they gave up. Divorce is actually the symptom of having already given up. Sometimes it is one spouse, sometimes both, but the unwillingness to endure has shortchanged many people out of true love.
It’s really quite a challenge, isn't it? A lot more than candies with cute sayings on them, or red boxes filled with chocolate. Love is a much more serious and challenging proposition.
Reading through those items, many would find
that the marriage they lost did not even come close to an environment of real
love. Many will find that we have a long
way to go, to be the kind of lover God desires us to be. But, this Valentine’s Day, it could be a
noble goal to choose this pattern as your aim.
Let’s review it one more time (or you may want to go back and reread the
entire chapter in your own Bible).
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!