Valentine’s Day represents the epitome of romantic love.  With the twang of the Cupid’s bow and the flight of his arrow, the ecstasy of the experience most people call love is ignited.  “Up, Up and Away!”  “Cloud Nine” – and all that.

But maybe Valentine’s Day is more a celebration of what love is not.  We remember how the Marriage Encounter principle of LOVE IS A DECISION had a profound affect on us.

We hadn’t thought about it before.  Love, a decision, a day-by-day decision lived out in acts of love.  It puts meaning into the continued sense of oneness through experiences that would be so out of context on a Valentine card.

Love is a decision and the little ways in which we say “I do” to our marriage every day to keep that decision active and growing are not always acts that are fun or ecstatic.

The Father’s decision to love us and to send His Son to redeem us was a painful act of love.  Jesus’ decision in Gethsemane to die the torturous death on the cross was far from an ecstatic, joyful act.  And this was the model the Apostle Paul uses to explain Christian marriage; the relationship between Christ and the Church.

We learn from Marriage Encounter that feelings are neither right nor wrong, but the important thing is how we act on those feelings.  Sentimental Valentines, flowers and romantic songs may express our feelings, but the everyday decisions to do the acts of love – the marriage bonders – are what keep our marriages growing and alive.


Rev. Harold (Chappie) and Marybelle Chapman                                                      51641831_s