What is Love, said one anonymous blogger? “It is a wildly misunderstood although highly desirable malfunction of the heart which weakens the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker.”
Shakespeare wrote: “Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs. Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes. Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers tears. What is it else? A madness most discreet, a choking gall and a preserving sweet.”
The famous Pirate Captain Blackbeard was a firm believer in marriage. Some say that he had fourteen wives in different ports. Howard Hughes as a modern-day pirate reportedly had over 250 partners/girlfriends stashed in different locations, many which falsely believed that they were married to Hughes. Perhaps this is why Marilyn Monroe sadly commented: “A wise girl kisses but doesn’t love, listens but doesn’t believe, and leaves before she is left.”
Despite all the cynicism and marital meltdown, North Americans still spend $13 billion on Valentines Day gifts, including 200 million roses, 40 million heart-shaped candy boxes, and $3 billion on jewelry.
We live in an age when many couples wake up with each other, and then try to figure out whether or not they want a commitment. Given the ambivalent procrastination of our post-modern culture, it is not surprising that some couples are still stuck on the way to the altar even after their second child. Some want to be completely financially secure first, even to the point of having all the money for their dream Hawaii honeymoon. Without that, they say, marital commitment is just unthinkable.
The biblical position is that ‘true love waits’. The confusion of our culture does make true love wait, not for sex, but for marriage. When God’s standards for intimacy are disregarded, the look-alike solutions become more and more ambivalent. Even living together is now seen as too committed by some young couples. All this leaves many young people jaded and detached, with ever higher standards of who might ever qualify as their future marital partner.
In the movie Romancing the Stone, Joan Wilder a romance writer meets Jack Colton who violates every one of her imaginary ideas of what a real man will act like. Romancing the Stone reminds us that real romance involves the messiness and disappointments of everyday life. Dr Karl Menninger, the famous psychiatrist, said: “Love cures people, both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.”
Eighteen years ago, I wrote a Deep Cove Crier article about Marriage Encounter in which I wrote the following words: “Inside the heart of each and every one of us there is a longing to be understood by someone who really cares. When a person is understood, he or she can put up with almost anything in the world.” Recently I discovered that those words have now been posted on hundreds of Romance websites http://bit.ly/35E4or Why would so many Romance websites be posting my words?
My hunch, as Dr Gil Stieglitz puts it, is that one of the deepest needs of wives is to be truly understood by their husbands. Many men mistakenly think that this is impossible. It is our job as husbands to carefully study our wives that we know them even better than they may know themselves.
Dr Gil Stieglitz tells us in his video series ‘The Five Problems of Marriage’ that one of the top needs of wives is for romance, to be nurtured and pursued. Some husbands don’t realize that they still need to date their wives, even after they are finally married to them. To some men, dating their wives is unthinkable. It would be like trying to get on a bus that they are already on.
Alfred Lord Tennyson romantically wrote: “If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever.” Romance is not an option. It is fundamental in any healthy marriage. If we have not been romancing our wife lately, she may be suspicious of our initial efforts. It may feel like we are romancing a stone, a stony heart. That is where perseverance and gentleness are so vital in the pursuit.
My wife finds it very romantic when I take out the garbage and do the dishes. Your wife needs to know that she is the most beautiful woman on earth, that she is a precious gift of God to you. Romance is saying, like Robert Browning, to your wife: “Grow old along with me; the best is yet to be.”
The Great Physician of our souls said: “This is my commandment that you love one another. No greater love has anyone than to lay your life down for your friends. The Good Book says that he that does not love doesn’t know God, because God is love. Pearl Buck the famous novelist wrote: “Love alone could waken love.”
Why are women spending so many billions of dollars each year on romance novels? Largely because there is an unmet need in their life that only you as their husband can fully meet. Your wife is waiting for you to romance her, to win her, to woo her. What are you waiting for?
Sandy Brown and her family have just moved to Spokane, Washington where her husband, Scott, is pastoring a new church. With a fresh start, Sandy is determined to devote more time to her four children. But, within weeks of settling in their new life, the Brown family is plunged into turmoil.
Sandy receives shocking news that her children aren’t safe, which brings back haunting memories of the trauma she experienced as a girl. Then, the unthinkable happens…
A brutal attack puts Sandy on the brink of losing everything she’s loved. Her faith in God and the family she cherishes are pushed to the ultimate limit.
Is healing possible when so many loved ones are hurt? Are miracles really possible through the power of prayer? Can life return to the way it was before?
Blue Sky reveals how a mother’s most basic instinct isn’t for survival… but for family.
If you’re a fan of Karen Kingsbury, then you’ll love Blue Sky. Get your copy today on paperback or kindle.
-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.
I was the Rector of St. Simon's Church North Vancouver, B.C for 31 years, from 1987 to 2018. Ordained in 1980, I have also served at St. Philip's Vancouver and St. Matthew's Abbotsford. My wife Janice and I have three sons James, Mark, and Andrew. I was Past President and Chaplain for Alpha Canada. While serving as the National Chair for Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada, I was one of three co-signers of the Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials
For the past 31 years, I have been privileged to write over 500 articles as a columnist on spiritual issues for local North Vancouver newspapers. In the last number of years, I have had the opportunity to speak at conferences and retreats in Honduras, Rwanda, Uganda, Washington State, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Ontario.
My book For Better, For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship, coauthored with Janice Hird, can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/Better-Worse-Discovering-lasting-relationship/dp/0978202236/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1535555614&sr=8-1
My sequel Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit, with a foreword by Dr JI Packer, is online with Amazon.com in both paperback http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/097820221X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile and ebook form http://tiny.cc/tanhmx .
In Canada, Amazon.ca has it available in paperback http://tiny.cc/dknhmx and ebook http://tiny.cc/wmhmmx .
It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).
Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form. Nook gives a sample of the book to read online: http://tiny.cc/vj3bmx . Indigo also offers the Kobo ebook version: http://tiny.cc/kreonx . You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook: http://tiny.cc/1ukiox
The book 'Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit' focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus' healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how North Americans can embrace a holistically healthy life.
In order to obtain a signed copy in North America of the prequel book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', Blue Sky, or God's Firestarters, please send a $25 etransfer to email@example.com . Cheques are also acceptable.
August 22, 2009 at 9:13 pm
Ed, I notice you say that a woman needs to be ‘romanced’ by her husband… could you elaborate
what exactly is it you mean by ‘romance’?
August 22, 2009 at 11:18 pm
I value Dr. Gil Stieglitz’s definition*. It says that it means to be nurtured, to be pursued with gentleness and respect. It means to seek to meet one’s wife’s needs, and to show love like Jesus did for his bride, the Church.
In Christ, Ed Hird+
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August 23, 2009 at 8:19 pm
Wow! Couldn’t have said it better! That’s where we truly meet, when we lay aside our’s for our partner’s needs and longings we find our own met!
August 23, 2009 at 10:03 pm
You are so right, Ruth. It is hard to do sometimes when our selfishness gets in the way, and when we are feeling tired. May God give us the supernatural strength to walk the walk.
August 24, 2009 at 2:45 pm
Well said, Ed. I’ve heard it said. “Love’s not a feeling, it’s a commitment.” That true to some degree, I’m sure. You certainly don’t want people going out and getting a divorce just because they don’t feel the goo-goo bubbles anymore. But love does need to be nurtured, and when it is, it can usually be felt. By the way, my wife finds it romantic when I do the dishes, too. Or is that just a con to get me to do what she wants, before she gives me what I want? Either way, I find myself doing more and more dishes these days.
August 25, 2009 at 1:43 am
Yes, it is remarkable how romantic dishes can be to some wives. This is very fortunate, as it is the main kitchen skill that my father taught me. My dad only learned how to cook scrambled egg sandwiches in his eighties. 😉
August 27, 2009 at 10:24 pm
Great article Ed. I think I will forward this one on to my husband!
August 28, 2009 at 5:28 am
Thanks for the feedback, Kim. May the article be a great inspiration in many marriages.
February 15, 2010 at 1:31 am
February 15, 2010 at 3:46 am
I am glad that you found it helpful, William. Every year I write a Valentine’s Day article, many of which are posted on the webblog.
In Christ, Ed