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Rowe: What is love?

This was going to be a mushy, sweet Valentine’s Day dedicated to the new love of my life. We’re really blessed as a couple and have that something special that only comes once in a lifetime, if you’re lucky. Chances are, if we’re family, friends or are acquainted through church or Facebook, you already know all about it so I’m going to spare you the good stuff, for now.

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about your significant other but rather about all the ‘special valentines’ in your life and when I start naming them one by one, I quickly lose count. If I asked who was the greatest love of your life I wonder how many of you would think of God first but His love for us is the most important of all. Without Him and His love that dwells within us, we wouldn’t know the real meaning of love.

Although my valentine and I met through an online dating site, exchanged messages, followed by lots of phone calls and finally began dating, we were careful and perhaps a bit hesitant in spite of the magic we felt.

Without a doubt, His love brought us together because it took some effort to get together for a second date but we took a step of faith and trusted God and he blessed our relationship far better than anything we could have imagined or hoped for.

We’d both been married before and at this point in life, you pray you get it right and take a different approach. For these two lovebirds, it meant putting God first and foremost, trusting Him and seeking His blessing. We didn’t have to look far to find good role models in family, friends and in our church.

Central Community Church is truly blessed to have great leaders and people who comprise the church body.  Senior Pastors Darrell & Donna Allen exemplify God’s love in every aspect of their calling, as pastors, treasured friends, mentors, leaders, godly men and women. Their love story began as high school sweethearts and has only grown deeper and sweeter through the years. Their love and respect for each other as husband and wife is inspiring to myself and others and I’m thankful for their impact on our life.  

Two other couples who had a significant impact on our relationship is our parents. Both have celebrated silver and golden anniversaries but every year becomes more precious. Through them it’s easy to see how they’ve reached this milestone and what a marriage should be. Together they honored the vows they made to be there for each other through richer or poorer, in sickness and in health but most importantly, to love, honor and respect each other. Their marriages have stood the test of time—while one Dad was deployed overseas and  as head of the house, both often worked long hours, sometimes without a day off while Moms worked and took care of the kids.

As they’ve gotten older and things have changed with health issues, their love has grown deeper. When my Dad had a stroke three years ago and became dependent on Momma to care for him she refused to put him in a nursing facility and became his primary caregiver. My other Mother keeps a careful eye on Dad, too caring for him yet never complaining and puts his needs ahead of her own, just as she’s always done for as long I can remember. And he supports her, loves her and makes her laugh, just as he’s always done for as long as I can remember and that love continues to grow.

In spite of all this our parents always made sure we knew that faith, family and love were the most important things in life. Our parent’s marriages are a fine example that no matter what happens in life, as long as you have love, you have all you need.

I have watched their marriage grow sweeter, stronger and deeper over the years.

Beth Rowe is a columnist who sees the world around her and tells it like it is. She may be reached at lakecountrymeme@gmail.com.