In a world where deceitful charm and vain beauty are cultural goddesses, a woman who fears the Lord is to be publicly praised

So, why am I telling this to you?

First, in a world where deceitful charm and vain beauty are cultural goddesses, a woman who fears the Lord is to be publicly praised (Proverbs 31:30), especially by her husband (Proverbs 31:28). My wife will not prefer this public praise; she’s too humble. But I know she will not withhold from me the joy of singing her praise, something that actually completes my joy.

Second, if you are newly married or hope to be married someday, you know of too many marriages that have broken on the reefs of human sin. And you are inundated with stories that distort and pervert love. Pop culture celebrates the infatuated highs of new love, and says very little of the deep, mature richness of middle-aged love. So, I want to encourage you with a word of hope: the best married love is ahead of you — though you likely won’t know it for a while. You will push through some steep mountains, deep valleys, and miry bogs to get there. You will wonder if it will happen; you will doubt. But if you trust God, stay true to your vows, and press on, you’ll discover that the relational reward of steadfast, persevering love is worth every struggle. Allow the wine to age.

Third, if you have had your heart broken and your love shipwrecked on the reef, your love story is not over — not if you are part of Christ’s bride. Your truest love story will have a wildly happy ending. The best marriages in this age are dim, defective reflections of the love Christ has for you (Ephesians 5:22–32). But they are reflections. The better the marriage, the greater glimpse we get of what’s coming for us all: a steadily growing, deeper, richer, stronger love for all eternity.

I am still wonderfully enchanted with my earthly beloved after many Valentine’s Days. And what’s more wonderful still is that it’s just a small taste of the Great Enchantment, the Deep Intoxication, the divine head-over-heels love we will all someday know with our true Beloved.

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