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Piece of Clay - Job 33:6
190 Million. No, that is not the income a pastor can expect. 190 Million. It’s not how many visitors Disney World had last year. That big number is how many Valentine’s Day cards were mailed last year. Collectively we spent close to $18.2 billion on that one day’s events and gifts last year. That comes out to around $136 per every man, woman, and child in America. That is what I call a lot of chocolate!
Chances are if you are like me, if I spent $136 on my wife for Valentine’s Day she would look at me funny. She likes gifts like she likes life: simple. I think that is one reason we get along so well. We are just simple people. We are crazy in love but nothing too extravagant is going to get her attention. Here is a little bit of our story: we met on a blind date and actually discussed getting married by night’s end. We just knew. We got engaged the ninth time we were together. We only waited to get married because school was still in session and had to wait for summer break. Five and half months of engagement and nearly twenty-three years later we are better than ever.
My father’s mom had a good deal of Italian in her, which means she could cook and give sage advice. She once told me that I should never, ever get married until I could answer one question. There is one wrong way to eat spaghetti, what is it? I gave myself a migraine for years trying to figure that out. One night while on a trip to Europe it hit me like a brick and I knew that I was ready. No, I cannot tell you. That would not be fair.
Why tell you this in a newsletter to churches? Because marriage should be celebrated not redefined. Marriage is a sacred invention by our Holy God put forth in Eden. Before God designed parenting, government, or even work, He designed marriage. What is the best way to push back against a society that thinks we are backwards in our thinking? Be like my grandmother. Speak sage advice into the next generation. Tell your children about your first date. Tell your grandkids about those feelings you had when you first met and how real those feelings still are today.
Will they seem grossed out? Probably. Will they really want to hear your love story? Probably not. But guaranteed they will know that mom and dad or grandmother and grandfather have something real, special, lasting, and well worth more than $18 billion and well worth giving away over 190 million times.