Are you and your spouse still Valentines?

“Doesn’t anybody stay together anymore?” asked a once popular song. Sadly, it’s a question that’s still in tune with today’s marriage miseries. Home breakups are the major tragedy of our time and the trend keeps accelerating. Thankfully, there are some efforts to right the marital ship and stem the tide of this plague that so negatively affects children and those left alone to raise them.

The seven days leading up to Valentine’s Day have been designated as Marriage Week in the United Kingdom since 1996 and in the United States since 2002. This special designation is to celebrate the importance of marriage.

Julie Baumgardner, director of “First Things First,” believes Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to make this emphasis, saying: “We celebrate birthdays, we celebrate holidays, but when it comes to marriage, people often forget that it’s really something to be celebrated.”

My first five words today were spoken to my valentine of more than fifty years: “I’m thankful we’re here together.” And my sleepy valentine’s reply made my day: “I’d be thankful to be anywhere with you!”

Love makes marriage one of life’s greatest adventures, but married people who ignore the importance of cultivating love through caring words and attitudes miss out on the mutual feeling of accomplishment that results from making a marriage last.

A seminary student and his wife were having such serious marital problems that they concluded divorce was their only option. Then, agreeing to give their marriage one more chance, they sought counsel from one of the professors at the seminary. The wise professor advised them to read 1 Corinthians 13 together each day for a month and then report to him on how they were doing. This moving description of love, so often read at weddings, says love is to be patient, kind, giving, forgiving and faithful. At the end of that month long experiment, this searching couple had discovered the meaning of love and rescued their marriage, enabling them to have a long and satisfying relationship and share their discovery with others.

During my years as a pastor, I developed a counseling approach for couples who came to talk to me about getting married that I hoped would help them keep their love alive.

First, I asked the prospective groom why he wanted to marry this woman. His answer was almost always the expected: because he loved her.

“Why do you love her?” I then asked.

An awkward period of silence often followed during which I felt sorry for the bride-to-be whose future husband couldn’t think of one reason for loving her. Fortunately, after time to think about it, the groom usually stated good reasons for his love, to the great relief and pleasure of the one he intended to marry. If you haven’t voiced your love to your valentine recently, speak up!

Remove all doubts about your love today.

Roger Campbell was an author, a columnist and broadcaster who was a pastor for 22 years. Contact us at rcministry@ameritech.net.

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