Valentine’s Day may be over, but it’s still the Month of Love. Are you looking for some inspiration? Try turning to the Bible and check out these top ten love stories that have withstood the test of time. (Editor’s note: The New American Bible, Revised Edition will be available on March 9, 2011.)
Tobiah and Sarah: A classic story of love at first sight, this couple overcame personal tragedy to establish a long-lasting relationship founded on prayer. (Tobit 7-8)
The Woman of Worth and Her (Unnamed) Husband: A lovely poem praising a woman who can do it all! She and her husband have a wonderful partnership, using their gifts to the benefit of their family and community. (Proverbs 31:10-31)
Hosea and Gomer: Though their marriage was fraught with infidelity and difficulties, their love story speaks to the healing power of forgiveness and its necessity in any loving relationship. (Hosea 1-3)
Abraham and Sarah: No one can say that Abraham and Sarah had it easy. They faced a long move away from family, jealousy, and the challenge of infertility, yet their love was the foundation of a new people, living in covenant with the one true God. (Genesis 12-23)
Moses and Zipporah: While in exile from Egypt, Moses married Zipporah, the daughter of the Midianite priest, Jethro. Though Moses was criticized for taking a foreign wife, Zipporah showed great respect for her husband’s faith and his mission. (Exodus 2, 4 and 18, and Numbers 12)
Zechariah and Elizabeth: These parents of John the Baptist provide a model of lifelong fidelity and righteousness, living their marital love in the heart of their close-knit faith community. (Luke 1-2)
Jacob and Rachel: Tricked into marrying her older sister, Jacob worked for Rachel’s father an additional seven years to earn her hand in marriage. Jacob and Rachel remind us that true love always requires effort and sacrifice. (Genesis 29-30)
The Bride and Groom in the Song of Songs: This young couple reminds us that passion is not a modern invention! After all, who could resist hearing their beloved say “you ravished my heart with a single glance from your eyes”? Their effusive love for each other speaks to the beauty of loving desire at the heart of a marriage. (Song of Songs 1-8)
Joseph and Mary: Though this marriage definitely faced difficulties, even before it started, their faith in each other and, even more, in God, allowed them to face each hardship and create a loving family to nurture God’s own Son. (Matthew 1-2, Luke 1-2)
God and His people: At its heart, the entire Bible is the story of the love God has for the people he created in his own image and likeness. From the Old Testament images of Israel as the Bride of the Lord to the New Testament images of the Church as the Bride of Christ, God’s love remains constant and unfailing. Though we often reject his love, God never withdraws, never walks away, even sending his only-begotten Son to offer the gift of salvation and everlasting life! And that gift is still offered to us today!
Take some time to think about the love story YOU could be writing today as you live these examples in your own married life.