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Tag: holy matrimony

Love Is…

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…”

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.

An Aria for Nick: book 2 in the Song of Suspense series
An Aria for Nick: book 2 in the Song of Suspense series

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!

The Jewel Anthology
The Jewel Anthology

Love Is

Sapphire Ice, Book 1 of the Jewel Series
Sapphire Ice, Book 1 of the Jewel Series

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.

Greater Than Rubies, Book 1.5 of the Jewel Series
Greater Than Rubies, Book 1.5 of the Jewel Series

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

Emerald Fire, Book 2 of the Jewel Series
Emerald Fire, Book 2 of the Jewel Series

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.

Topaz Heat, Book 3 of the Jewel Series
Topaz Heat, Book 3 of the Jewel Series

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.

A Melody for James: Part 1 in the Song of Suspense series
A Melody for James: Part 1 in the Song of Suspense series

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)

Don’t forget to comment on this post and you will be entered to win an autographed copy of The Jewel Series! The giveaway will end February 14, 2014, at 11:59 pm est.
Hallee Bridgeman Precious Signature


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
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30 Days of Thankfulness Day 2

I often post a list of all the things for which I’m thankful on Thanksgiving. But, in an effort to get back into the habit of daily blogging, I’ve decided to do a post a day for the month of November.

2. Gregg

gregg hallee cavern

Despite the fact that neither one of us were looking for a relationship when we met, within a day of meeting Gregg in person, he and I were talking about marriage. Forget the fact that I was recently separated from my husband of nearly 10 years, forget the fact that it was 3 short months after 9/11 and Gregg was in a Special Forces unit about to deploy, forget the fact that he lived 354 miles away from my house — we KNEW we would be married.

We absolutely, totally, and completely fell in love with each other at first sight.

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, the one that was used, is lõ’tôb, which means positively bad. As in, it is positively bad that man is alone, so I will make for him a helper.

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 .

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.

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.

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 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.

I am daily thrilled and in awe of this man with whom I am “one”. Every single day, our love and respect grows. I get excited to see him at the end of the day. I love working with him on my books or on projects. I *LOVE* being the mother of his children and parenting our three children together. I get excited on date nights like a teen girl being asked out by her crush. I am so thankful, daily to God, for bringing us together and for both of us being open to the voice of the Holy Spirit that told us, “This is your *one*.”
Hallee Bridgeman Precious Signature


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
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A Romance Writer’s Real Life ‘Love at First Sight’ Story

In New Orleans, March 2002

In December of 2001, my (now ex) husband told me he was in love with, and having an affair with, my best friend. We had celebrated our 9-year anniversary just four months before, and we had a 4-year-old daughter, Kaylee. He had a lot of substance abuse problems and other addictions, and we had the normal financial problems that come with that kind of addictive lifestyle. Consequently, life was a little hard, but I desperately tried to keep everything together and normal for Kaylee. When he told me about his affair, one of my first emotions was relief, which made the decision to end our marriage very easy.

I was tired. I’d been the primary money-maker for years. I did most of the hands-on parenting. My job was demanding. I managed our home. I got up every morning at 4AM so that I could write my books. I was active in my church. My (now ex) husband was very demanding and selfish of my time and attention. I was simply tired. I only had a desire to set up a little house for me and Kaylee and live the rest of my life alone, man-free. The concept was incredibly appealing.

Within two weeks, I was moved out and set up in my new place. For those of you who think that I moved too fast to end my marriage, I’ll add that the week before I moved out, he moved his girlfriend into our home and stayed with her in the guest room.

By that time, I’d been writing for about three years and had ten books written. I’d also been actively involved with a writing community on America Online (AOL) and a writing email group that sprang out of that community of about 20-30 people. From this community, and within this email group, I made several friends (many of whom are still my friends today). One friend, a woman we called C.D., lived within a few hours of me, in central Florida. One free weekend in January, a couple weeks after I moved into my own place, I drove down to meet her in person. We had the best weekend. C.D. had once been a stand-up comedian, and had me rolling and laughing more than I had in years. It was a wonderful visit.

April 2003

When I got home, I went to work on a book and my computer crashed. It had been a hand-me-down from my boss, so when I got it, it was already on its last legs. Computers crash all the time. That’s just a fact of life. But, this computer crashed with my 10 novels on it, and I had no backups.

I called C.D. and asked if her husband could help me. He was (and I’m sure still is) a computer technician. Unfortunately, he wasn’t available. C.D. said, “Call Gregg.”

I said, “Who’s Gregg?”

She said, “You know Gregg.” Then she gave me his AOL screenname.

I said, “I don’t know him. I can’t call him.”

She said, “Of course you know him. You email with him in the group every day. He can help. Call him.”

So, she gave me his number.  And I called him.

Gregg was wonderful on the phone. Me? Not so much. He tried talking me through getting to my books on the hard drive, but I am not technically proficient and have never pretended to be. Finally, after several (I’m sure frustrating) minutes, he said, “Listen. I am driving down to C.D.’s house this weekend and will go through Tallahassee. Let me just come by your house and I’ll look at it there.”

He lived in Alabama — about 350 miles from my house in Florida.

Disclaimer: This is not an encouragement for anyone out there to invite someone into your home whom you know only from online. Because I knew C.D., and because C.D. and Gregg were close friends for many years and had stayed in and out of each others’ homes many times, I agreed.

Wedding Reception on our 1-Year Anniversary, June 2003

While I was very clearly NOT on the “market”, not looking for a man, and not interested in a relationship, I was nowhere near what Gregg was looking for, either. As I talked about on my Hallee the Homemaker blog during the study of The Power of a Praying Wife, Gregg would pray to God, “Dear God, please let me meet a wife, but she must have never been married, have no children, be able to have children, be shorter than me, and live within fifty miles of me.” I met absolutely none of those standards. As such, when we arranged to have him come fix my computer, he was coming to fix my computer. Neither one of us had any concept of anything else.

Gregg arrived at my home on a Friday evening (Kaylee was not home that weekend). My dog, Maia, an Akita mix I’d had to once catch mid-air as she leaped to attack a friend whose keys jingled the wrong way, ran out to greet Gregg when he arrived. She’d gotten past me, and made a beeline for him. I cautioned him about her, but when I got to them, I found Maia on her back, her stomach exposed, tail thumping the ground, tongue lolling out like the happiest dog on the planet. If I’d had even the slightest bit of apprehension about letting Gregg in, it went away with Maia’s acceptance of him.

Gregg often tells this story, and he says that when I stepped out of my house and he looked at me on my little porch, he knew very quickly he was “in trouble.” His attraction for me was immediate and absolute.

We hugged hello, not something I’m personally prone to do, and it felt…right. I was comfortable talking to him and chatting with him as he came into my house. After initial polite pleasantries, he went right to the point and asked where the computer was. Within minutes, he’d restored my computer. Then he invited me to dinner.
We drove down the street and ate chicken at Boston Market. We held hands for the first time as we prayed over the meal.

We could not stop talking. I had a spare bedroom and spare bathroom. He spent the weekend and every single minute with him was perfect. Absolutely perfect. By the end of the weekend, we were hinting at talks of marriage.

I’m not kidding. I was married, recently separated, and absolutely exhausted. But talking with this beautiful, brilliant man about marriage was the most natural thing in the world. Until that moment in time, I would have said that “love at first sight” was something romance writers like me just used as a plot launch. I would never, ever have believed it to be a real “thing”. But I can tell you in all honesty right now, I fell in love with Gregg the moment we met, and that love has done nothing but multiply over the years.

That was January 12th. Four weeks after I’d left my (now ex) husband. On March 22nd, Gregg asked me to marry him, and I happily and readily agreed. On May 23rd, my divorce was final from my ex-husband. On June 28th, at the Calhoun County Courthouse in Anniston, Alabama, we said our marriage vows in front of the Honorable Arthur Murray.

Our 9-Year Anniversary, June 2011

We have had an amazing, adventerous decade of life together. We’ve grown personally, spiritually, and together. We’ve made mistakes, have hurt each other, have healed, and have grown closer together. We are partners. We are one. He is my hero and I am his bride.

I am thankful to God, every single day, that C.D.’s husband was unavailable when I called, that I had the courage to call Gregg, and that he finally got so frustrated with me on the phone that he offered to come fix my computer in person. I am so thankful for every second of my marriage to this amazing, wonderful man, and am so proud to be his wife.

Happy 10th Anniversary, my remarkable husband. I look forward to many more decades together.
Hallee Bridgeman Precious Signature


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


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