Celebrate real love--not Hollywood's lust
But what would average Americans say they celebrate? I think most would define love as the feeling they have toward their spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend. That is what Hollywood teaches. Love is a feeling of affection or romantic desire.
That's why we have so many abortions and so much unmarried cohabitation. People think lust is love. If you are "in love," nothing should stand in the way of your desires. And when the feeling of desire is gone, the "love" is gone, so you might as well move on to someone who you desire ("love") more.
I wish I had a dollar for every person I have heard say they are going to "try out" a relationship by living together before they get married. Our divorce rates indicate many people are just "trying out" marriage, too.
Whatever happened to commitment? It got left behind with real love. I Corinthians 13 says love, as the King James puts it, "seeketh not her own." Love is not self-centered. It is a commitment to doing what is best for the other person. Before marriage, that means practicing abstinence and guarding both your heart and the heart of the one you love from sexual temptation.
The Bible doesn't say to feel affection or desire for your spouse. Those feelings come naturally and fluctuate over time. It says, "Husbands, love your wives." You can't force feelings, but you can do loving actions, and the feelings will usually follow. The Bible also tells wives to "reverence," or respect their husbands. Many women would be surprised how much more loving their husbands would be if they praised and encouraged their husbands, instead of criticizing them.
My wife and I celebrate our mid-year anniversary today, and I can say we are as deeply "in love" as we ever have been. Our feelings for each other are at their strongest, and that makes marriage a lot of fun. But that feeling comes from the fact that two-and-a-half years ago we committed to doing what is best for each other, and we try to fulfill that commitment each day.
So enjoy the pink teddy bears and chocolate hearts with the one you love, but let's be sure we love "in deed and in truth," not just "in word and in tongue."