I’m so happy you could join me during the Christian Indie Authors Valentine’s Day Blog Hop! To commemorate this holiday that’s all about love, we’re all writing on “Love Is…”
So, click the picture above to go to the blog hop, and you can discover what we all think about “Love Is…” You can also be entered to win 11 EBOOKS! That’s right, 11. Including Book 2 in my Song of Suspense Series: An Aria for Nick.
And – for anyone who comments on this blog post here on my blog with your thoughts about “Love Is…”, you will be entered to win an autographed copy of my entire Jewel Series, which includes Sapphire Ice, Greater Than Rubies, Emerald Fire, and Topaz Heat!
I don’t just write romance novels. I write Christian romance novels. So, my stories have to go beyond the “typical” romance novel and focus on two major points of love: Eros, which is the Greek term for romantic love; and Agape, which is the Greek term for the perfect love of God.
How important is love?
1 Corinthians 13 informs us that without love, we are nothing and have nothing. We can have faith to move mountains or knowledge of all things in the universe but without love, we are nothing. We can spend our very lives in service and sacrifice but without love, it isn’t useful or profitable. The remainder of the chapter informs us very accurately about the nature of love.
When I write, I have to have the romantic arc – the romantic story between the male protagonist and the female protagonist. And, I also have to write on the spiritual arc – the love the two main characters have or learn to have for God. In this genre, if you leave out one of those arcs, you pretty much have an incomplete story.
The more I delve into writing about love – about eros and agape love, the more the two intertwine.
When God said, ” It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him,” (Genesis 2:18) there are two Hebrew words that could have been used for “not good.” One is ‘ên tôb, which means that something is lacking. As in, this coffee is lacking cinnamon, or these mashed potatoes are lacking salt. The other is the one that was used: lõ’tôb, which means positively bad. As in, it is positively bad that man is alone, so I will make for him a helper.
If it is positively bad for man to be alone, then it must therefore be positively good for man to be in love with a woman and be one with that woman in marriage. We are designed to want to be in a relationship with someone. We are commanded by God to make that relationship monogamous, permanent, and, above all, a reflection of Christ’s relationship with us, of Christ’s agape love for us.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27
What does that mean?
What it means is that Christ loves us so much that He died for us. He stepped up, was beaten until he didn’t even resemble a man anymore, then nailed to a wooden cross until his lungs filled with fluid and suffocated him. And he did it because he LOVES us. With a perfect agape love.
Husbands are supposed to love their wives that much. God’s perfect model for marriage has husbands loving and adoring their wives to the point that they would step up and die for them.
THAT is the kind of love I seek to convey between my characters when writing their love stories. That is the kind of love that I have blossom and bloom between my characters.
Conversely, women are to love and respect their husbands. To hold them in high esteem. To give to them the kind of unconditional respect that rivals the unconditional love their husbands should have for them. To love them tenderly, affectionately, and passionately.
Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. ~Proverbs 31:1-12
Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” The term “one” used here is the same term used in Deuteronomy 6:4 describing the Holy Trinity: “Hear O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one.”I think that is a powerful message from God that puts man and wife as one – one flesh, one in the eyes of God as much as the trinity of God – God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit – is one.
When a husband loves his wife with the perfect, agape love of Christ, and when his wife gives him unconditional respect and a tender affectionate love in return, then you have a perfect model of a marriage as given to us by God. Then you have the two becoming “one” – a powerful force with which to be reckoned.
And, as in God’s perfect design for marriage, when you have two people – a husband and wife – loving and respecting each other, and keeping their eyes and hearts on God and His perfect agape love, then you have the two of them coming closer together while they grow closer to God.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5
In Luke 10:27, Christ expanded on that command and included, “with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.”
We have husbands commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and we’re commanded to love the Lord God with everything inside of us.
I think that means that when we love God with everything inside of us, with all of our being, then that love spills out into our relationships – spouse, children, friends, neighbors, needy — I believe that when we learn to love God as we’re supposed to, then the other love we have is perfected.
God is love. Christ showed us the perfect love. And, the closer we grow to God, the closer we grow to the one we love.
As I’m typing this, a song that was popular when I was in high school is dancing through my head. It’s a secular song, but I think it completely can be applied to a Christian’s idea of love:
Love is all around you, love is knockin’ outside your door
Waitin’ for you.
Is this love made just for two
Keep an open heart and you’ll find love again, I know ~Tesla
Now, I hope I planted that song in your head, too! But more than that, I hope to plant these words in your heart:
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NKJV)
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