I’m delighted to have my friend and fellow author Dawn Wilson inspire us with thoughts on her Valentine this week. Also, I think you will enjoy her post on “Was Valentine’s Day Pagan or Christian?” Now here’s Dawn.
Love That Digs In to Serve
Bob has been the love of my life since I saw him in church. “He looks like Prince Philip!” I told a friend. That was five decades ago, and July, 2024, marks our 50th wedding anniversary.
In the early 1970s, I traveled with a revival ministry team as a singer and counselor. Local church families housed the team. I ended up in my future husband’s parents’ home. The following summer, Bob joined the team. We traveled thousands of miles together, encouraging church members to embrace a more biblical walk with God, and calling students to a relationship with Him.
For three years, I observed Bob’s character. His servanthood endeared me. When I developed a severe respiratory infection on the road and coughed for three weeks straight, I endured countless home remedies—including garlic hung in a bag around my neck! I coughed so hard that I developed pleurisy and doubled over in pain.
Throughout the ordeal, Bob became my tough-and-tender “Knight in Shining Armor.” He defended my need for rest when a team leader asked if I could “mouth the words” at my microphone. Even though he is a man of few words, Bob wrote me notes of encouragement. He carried my luggage and served me in innumerable ways. How could I resist loving such a man?
Love That Digs Deeper
We married in 1974 and soon returned to revival ministry where he continued to serve and protect me. I got ready for bed one night and heard someone clearing his throat. Our room was connected to another—which I assumed was a storeroom—by a swinging saloon-type door with widely-spaced slats. I peered over the low door and saw “Grandpa” looking at me in the dark. He had watched me undress! My valiant knight moved quickly to exit us from that situation.
After my diagnosis with multiple myeloma, my Valentine’s sweet service intensified. I’ve read about spouses who abandon their mates when severe illness invades their story. Not my Bob. His love just dug in harder.
Bob has served me far beyond the call of duty. Let me rephrase that. My Prince Charming’s love surpasses the responsibilities of our wedding vows.
Take 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Seriously!
I grieve when people take matters of love and marriage lightly, and especially when older marriages crumble under heavy trials. When Bob and I vowed “in sickness and health, until death do us part,” we meant it. We didn’t understand what might be required of us, but we embraced our vows and never looked back.
One thing that cultivated our commitment was 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and the messages we’ve heard about it many times since.
The passage is part of what some call “The Love Chapter.” The verses suggest how indispensable love is in the Christian experience. Bob and I take those verses seriously. We don’t practice this love perfectly, but it is our worthy goal.
God’s says love is patient and kind—it doesn’t give up on the one we love. It’s not envious, boasting, or proud. It does not dishonor others by forcing itself on them. It isn’t self-seeking—not a “me first” mentality. It’s not easily angered. Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs—forgiveness flows freely. Love doesn’t delight in evil, but instead, takes pleasure in the truth. It always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. Finally, love never fails, never dies.
I know that I am terminal. We all are. But I also know God will give my husband and me continuing “1 Corinthians love” until God calls one of us home. Even then, the love we have shared will serve—lingering in the survivor’s memory to encourage and help.
How grateful I am for my sweet, serving Valentine! He surely has been God’s good gift to me.
A few questions:
- If you are married, are you cultivating 1 Corinthians 13 love with your Valentine?
- If you are single, are you demonstrating 1 Corinthians 13 love with your brothers and sisters in Christ?
Dawn Wilson is a speaker and author, and a regular columnist at Crosswalk.com.
Thank you, Dawn!