Love That Does Not Disappoint

Yesterday I read a


on how to reduce stress in my life.

Don't believe for a minute . . . you'll get the number of servings the recipe says you will . . . you can perform a complex computer task with a single click of the mouse . . . your call is important to them . . . the "push here on red" button will get you across the street any faster . . . you're indispensable to your company . . . your cake will look anything like the one illustrated on the box . . . the battery will last anywhere near what they claim. Get smart. Lower your expectations.

That's right! I can

reduce my stress

in life if I don't believe the claims, think of myself as dispensable, lower my


, and basically, just

plan to be disappointed


Know what? I am not only


by that tip-of-the-day, I am


Lower my expectations? Settle for less?

Don't take me wrong. I know I can’t believe all of the claims I hear.  I agree there are times when I do trust them and find myself stressed. Like when I spend two hours assembling something that clearly states on the box can be assembled in

five easy steps


I began thinking about Valentine's Day in light of this stress-reducing tip. Many people have high expectations of how they will feel loved today. Many have a little jingle playing in their heads ~

every kiss begins with Kay

~ and dream of a small velvet box filled with something that sparkles! Many envision how the events of the day will fall into place to create the ultimate romantic evening. And, I predict, many will be stressed out if their valentines do not live up to their hopes and expectations.


my valentine

is not feeling so good. In fact,

my valentine

is asleep on the couch hoping the combination of decongestants, antihistamines and cough suppressants work its


to help him feel better.

The sight of

my valentine

lying there in his sweats could be cause for disappointment. I mean ~ nobody is receiving breakfast in bed this morning and there won't be much hugging and kissing going on. It is just not going to be that kind of day!

When we base our view of love on what the world claims, we are in for disappointment!

I am thankful that there is a love that

does not disappoint

; not based on circumstances or the actions of others. A love that is as much an act of the will as it is a response of the heart . . . that seeks the highest good of another . . . with claims that are trustworthy and believable. It is a love that


circumstances that seeks to disappoint.

Love is patient; love is kind and is not jealous;
Love does not brag and is not arrogant,
Does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own,
Is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
Does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I Corinthians 13:4-7

Here is a new


for Valentine’s Day ~

Don't believe in what the world calls love . . . you will get what you deserve . . . it is all about you . . . love comes in small velvet boxes . . . it is alright if he yells at you ~ at least he comes home at night . . . she better look great . . . if it doesn’t feel right, find someone new . . . Get smart. Raise your expectations.

Decide today to embrace

a love that does not disappoint . . . 

and expect your relationship to be transformed.

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not ~ perhaps you recited these words as you pulled the petals from a flower, one by one, to try to determine whether the one you love will truly returns your love. It always seemed like a childhood game.

But more and more it seems that marriages reflect the sentiment of those words.

On this Valentine's Day Eve, husbands and wives will stand in the aisles of Walgreen's to find a card that expresses the words they meant to say to one another throughout the year. There will be dozens of roses delivered. The sweet smell of chocolate will fill the air. And couples will say I love you in the glow of candlelight.

I don't mean to sound cynical, but on Monday, February 15th, lives will once again be overflowing with the demands of the dailies ~ dirty dishes, unpaid bills, loads of laundry, sick children, upside down mortgages, furlough days, dead batteries ~ you name it! ~ any number of situations that create a climate of crisis for the family. The romance of Valentine's Day will quickly be replaced with the challenging day-to-day responsibilities of life, and a commitment to love one another will once again fall victim to circumstances.

Lack of commitment is not new. It is not unique to this generation of over-stressed, economically-strapped Americans.  Even in the first century, a series of oaths were required to guarantee that one’s commitment would remain true. Jesus enters this system of oaths and offers a solution.

In Matthew 5, His words seem almost too simple to be taken seriously ~

Let what you say be simply Yes or No.

The people of that day would recognize Jesus' use of a cultural idiom. Jesus is basically saying ~

Let your inside Yes match your outside Yes
and your inner No match your outer No.

In essence ~ mean what you say and say what you mean.

Anything less is duplicity, doubleness, sin ~ saying one thing, living another.

Oh that we would choose today to be transformed and live a life of love that is characterized by commitment, not duplicity ~ where the words and tones we use, and the actions we display, would truly communicate an unconditional love. A love lived out everyday ~ not just on Valentine's Day.

A love that says to one another in spite of the dailies . . .

I love you and there is nothing you can do about it!