Valentine’s Day honestly has no hold on me, but it is widely celebrated today and brings to mind the topic of loving relationships. Recently pondering my 36-year marriage to Gregory, I thought to myself, “love is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Love is patient.*
But everyone’s in a hurry these days. They want what they want and they want it NOW. Microwave dinners and popcorn and mac ’n cheese and double lanes in fast-food drive thru’s to keep ‘em movin’. Super blast DSL service at 3 Mbps.

STOP is a four-letter word to most of us and a 60-second traffic light creates untold angst. Two-word texts are preferred over conversations, and 140 characters is all Twitter has time for. Hurry it up!

But………you can’t hurry love.
Goosebumps are the initiation ceremony, the starting block, but they don’t last long and they certainly don’t define love.
Love demands long stretches of time, complete with perseverance and endurance, to become what it is.

The Message puts it like this

“Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.” (I Corinthians 13. The MSG)

That’s a pretty good filter to apply to our M.O. in relationships; not an easy assignment, but worth the investment.

*(I Cor. 13: 4)