Fifty is a good number. When you’ve been married 50 years, it’s your golden anniversary. The Bible calls every 50th year a Jubilee. Personally, I feel splendid in my 50s. The fabulous 50s. Our culture seems to be obsessed with this number when it comes to destroying marriage and sexual purity. Some may recall when Paul Simon sang about 50 ways to leave your lover. Now there’s 50 shades of grey that sound so depraved it’s hard to fathom anyone would be enticed by it.
An artist’s palette blends black and white to make grey. While it’s useful for making shadows, it is rather dull and forlorn. I don’t like what lurks in shadows. Grey can’t be trusted. Grey is undecided. I prefer absolute distinctions. Wrong or right. Love me, love me not. No in-between. There are no shades of grey in love.
We need a renaissance of real love. Put the electronic devices away. Stop the curt, lazy texting. Look away from the deviant culture of contemporary literature and film. This Valentine’s Day, write a love letter. What a lost art! Love letters can be tied with ribbon and saved in shoe boxes. They are monuments of heartfelt love and passion. Real love. Once again, we go back to the past to rediscover such relics of love.
“…the passing of the years does nothing but deepen and intensify my love for you…and yet I see that there is no end to love…there is no lover, anywhere, writing to his girl who is quite as mad about her as I am. ” — Ever yours, Martyn (Martyn Lloyd-Jones to his wife, Bethan)
Try constructing a letter, on real paper, this Valentine’s Day. Pick up a pen and express unfeigned devoted love to your spouse. (Honey-do lists don’t count.) I know you’re busy this weekend so I’ve pulled out 50 words and/or phrases to inspire you. These were taken from The Christian Lover: The Sweetness of Love and Marriage in the Letters of Believers. Here is a great review of the book by Tim Challies. I highly recommend adding this little treasure to your bookshelf.
- mad (about you)
- ever yours
- your letters are more efficacious to cure my headache than all the drugs of the apothecaries’ shops
- loving kindness
- I now covet your heart
- the prospect of calling you my own
- the life of my life is bound up in your love
- unaffected modesty
- fire enkindled
- burning and increasing ardour
- real regard
- sincere affection
- anxiously await
- temporal blessing
- my dearest friend
- communicate your thoughts with freedom
- invariable affection
- pray for me
- humble servant
- unfeigned friend
- honorable esteem of a wife
- he loved her soul
- often thought of you
- most fondness
- many comfortable days and weeks and years with you
- perfectly happy
- I long for
- reading…your letters is more to me than any other company or entertainment which books or friends can here afford me
- remembering you
- to be much together
- cast myself at your feet
- your devoted servant
- great pleasure to find you love me so tenderly
- let us stir up each other to return sincere and vehement love for all His benefits
- ardent desire
- genuine piety which eminently adorns your person
- spend my life in happy union
- dearest of mortals!
- I sincerely love you
- my sweet love
- pleasing painful passion
- passions are blind and dangerous leaders, but when they faithfully follow conviction they preserve their proper place and are not amiss…
Note that last one! It was written by Thomas Charles to his intended wife, Sally Jones, in the year 1780. What wisdom. Thomas Charles is also quoted in #6 about Sally’s letters as a cure for his headache. I bet you thought a woman wrote that one!
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and remember to express real love to your spouse using the ancient form of communication known as the love letter.