North Santa Rosa

Living with Purpose by Matt Dobson

Valentine’s Day Edition (Part I of a two-part column)

I once saw an illustration where a couple was getting married. The minister is having the bride and groom recite their vows. One person in the congregation thinks positive to himself: “This is the time of their lives.” Another person, beside him thinks negative: “Now they begin serving time!” When you said “to have and to hold, till death do us part”, you expressed a commitment. You and your partner chose each other. It’s a matter of perspective and what expectations are brought to that relationship that determines whether the relationship makes it or not.

This is the season we celebrate love…Valentine’s Day! Love is important enough to celebrate every day. Your approach to loving, healthy relationships is determined, to a large degree, on what value you place on love. We know what the Bible says about it. “God is love” (1 John 4:8). This says to me the potential for your greatest love story depends on your inclusion of God in all your relationships. God’s love is perfect and it completes us (1John 4:12). Perfect love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). However, when it comes to romantic love, none of us are perfect. When the holy bonds of matrimony are broken and a couple decides to go in different directions, the potential for love is never lost. First Corinthians 13:4-7 says love is: patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, not proud, does not dishonor, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, rejoices with truth, protects, trusts, hopes, and does not give up.

There are many things to say concerning the subject of love. I will not attempt to say all I could in this column, nor the next one. But in my personal experiences and through counseling many couples concerning marriage, I have discovered some principles that can help you have a happy marriage or relationship. Every marriage and relationship has the potential for happiness and joy. But not all marriages find it. The greatest source of happiness this side of heaven could very well be a contented marriage. Certainly the chances are very good when it’s the right person. Love and a happy marriage is exactly what God wants you to have. In the very first chapter of the Bible, God tells us that men and women were made for one another. “It is not good for man to be alone,” said God, “I will make a helper suitable for him” (Gen. 2:18). There is hardly anything more wonderful as meeting the one mate meant for you.

In the love story, The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks, the character Noah writes a letter to his sweetheart Allie: “The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more. That plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. And that’s what you’ve given me. And that’s what I hope to give to you forever.” There are many wondrous ways to have love awakened. You might meet someone by chance and the beginning of bliss takes off. I’ve found enduring loves often come out of best friends. On rare occasions, maybe not as rare as one might think, only one meeting may decide your destiny, even though you may not see that person for days, weeks, or even years. We can be thankful God has made a way for love to come to all. Love is powerful. God can and has placed a deep instinct into a man, the power to see beauty hidden deep in the heart of a plain girl when she doesn’t see it herself. For the woman, there is a deep feeling that gives her the insight to see sincerity in the heart of a plain man. Because of this, there is no reason to despair if you’re not Miss America or Mr. Universe. Love comes as often to the plain as to the glamorous, as often to the poor as the rich, as often to the older as well as the younger.

Those that have taken risks and loved another, sometimes loses that person. Sometimes those that haven’t found true love wonder if it will always escape them. You need to know, because of God’s love, we all have the capability to share love with someone. When the love of God is in our heart, we can have and know the value of hope (Rom. 5:5). Many a man and woman have to wait patiently while love stirs in the heart of another. Time is in God’s hands, but the “way” is in yours. The real way to charm in love is through a sincere and genuine heart (Eph. 4:32).

Next week I will finish the second part of this column which will include steps to better understand the ones you love and ways to extend the warranty on your love relationships. Until then, find a church where you can learn about God’s love, attend it faithfully, and follow God in all your ways.

  • This weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, University of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida. Matthew can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts and questions concerning faith, belief, and Christian living.
Posted by on Feb 12 2012. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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