Love Plus Work Equals a Strong Relationship

I learned something about love waiting for a seminary class to begin.

Yeah. Doesn’t sound very romantic, does it? But it’s true. I was sitting with about five other men and the one lone woman waiting for the professor to show up. It was a night class which meant we would not get out until at least 9:00 p.m.

This particular night happened to be Valentine’s Day. The woman was married and in her early twenties. She asked, “So, what did you guys do for your wives for Valentine’s?”

I thought it was a good question and told them I had already delivered my present that morning along with a card and a promise of a night out that coming weekend when our schedules allowed it. This seemed to pass the young wife’s test and gave her some hope that her husband might come through in flying colors too.

She looked at the other men with hopeful eyes. One acted like the thought of it being Valentine’s Day had not even crossed his mind. One was a single guy. He got a pass.

But then one of the married men—unaware that he was about to hit the self-destruct button—said, “I’m going to pick up something from Walgreen’s on the way home.”

Now, if you are a male reading this and are thinking, “Hey, that’s what I do!” then you better keep reading. Like fast. And if you are female and thinking, “That’s probably what my husband does, if he does anything,” then you might want to send him this post.

I’m not going to lie to you. This woman’s eyes rolled back into their sockets until the pupils disappeared. When they came back they were black and she hissed at him, “That’s the best you can do?! You didn’t even plan anything for your wife?!”

I pitied the poor soul. But I was also reminded of something very important in relationships. Making thoughtful plans is important to keeping a relationship alive and growing.

Relationships take work to keep them fresh. “Work” is not something you see often on a Hallmark Valentine’s card but it is necessary for keeping a relationship strong. “Love” is not opposed to “work.” In fact, in one of the most famous “love” passages in Scripture, love is depicted as a verb:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Most often in Scripture “love” is a verb. True love is not just a romantic feeling. It is something that acts.

It’s a good practice to do loving things for your special person all year round. But with Valentine’s Day a couple of weeks away . . . this is a good time to plan something if you haven’t already.

By the way, after class I quickly checked in with the young wife’s husband and gave him a heads up. Lucky for him he’d already made a Walgreens run earlier in the day.

Question: What planning goes into your relationships to keep them strong?


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