By Dr. Mark Creech
Christian Action League
February 14, 2018
James Dobson in a discussion about romantic love tells a revealing story about a high school football team located in a small Oklahoma town. Every Friday night the team took a drubbing from its opposing players. It was humiliating for the community.
One night, after another devastating defeat, a wealthy oil producer decided to take matters into his own hands. He was given permission to speak to the team in the locker room and proceeded to offer every boy and their coach a brand new Ford if they would defeat their rivals in the upcoming game.
The team went crazy with delight. They cheered. They slapped one another on the back. At night they dreamed about touchdowns and revving engines. They were in ecstasy.
Finally, when the big night arrived, excitement was at a fever pitch. The coach said a few inane words before the team hurried off to face their opponents. They huddled, put their hands together on the sidelines, and exuberantly shouted “Rah!” Then they ran onto the field and were totally trounced 38-0.
All their excitement, emotion, ecstatic feelings, euphoria, elation, was able to translate into one single point on the scoreboard. None of it could compensate for the player’s lack of discipline, conditioning, experience, character, and the kinds of sacrifices necessary to make them winners.
Romantic love is like that. It may have a place in human affairs, but when put to the tests of life it has a tendency to fade and can never stand alone. In fact, when all is said and done, it may even seem a tad foolish.
When Kim and I first started dating nearly 40 years ago, we were head-over-heels in love. But if the truth be told, I don’t think either one of us at that time really knew a thing about love.
After marriage came exceedingly difficult challenges – relational issues, inlaw struggles, financial stresses, disappointments, losses, child-rearing conflicts, health problems, grief, resentments, crushed dreams, and the list goes on – things that work to tear marriages apart – things that can leave the romance in shambles.
But romance and love are not always equal. Nor do I believe they always accompany each other.
Kim and I have hung together against incredible odds and over the years we’ve learned that love is a mutually deep and abiding commitment of dying to self and making the other person’s needs a priority. From this soil, a true and powerful love grows, forging a bond that survives the tests of time. It’s what makes a couple winners at love.
The irony that this year Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday converge on the same day is pretty remarkable if you ask me. Providence, I think, seems to be reminding us of that model love – the love that moved God to empty himself to become a man in Jesus Christ and live and die for us, even when we were in sin and rebellion against him.
And oh yeah, Kim Doumar, I love you. I mean I really love you, and always will.
Happy Valentine’s Day!