The other day I heard an amazing story.
It seems that a young man and his bride were looking forward to their wedding day which was only a few months out into the future.
The handsome young man and beautiful young lady each had promising professional careers ahead of them. They also looked forward to children.
One night, the bride-to-be had a terrible nightmare that caused her to jump headfirst off the end of her bed.
She snapped her neck and within a few days she was pronounced a permanent quadriplegic.
Here's where the real miracle begins.
The bride's father had a man-to-man talk with the groom, explaining that everyone would understand if he decided to back out of the wedding.
The groom's circle of friends and family also counseled him to withdraw from his nuptials. Well-meaning associates warned him of the struggles that lay ahead in tying the knot with the young lady who couldn't even tie her own shoes.
This determined groom then explained to all the definition of love. He told them that he had made a permanent commitment to the woman that he loved in a way that transcended physical limitations. There was no sacrifice he would not make for his beloved.
The wedding went forward and this dynamic couple is the very picture of marital love. They are heroic lovers.
Then there's the couple by the name of Mary Lou and Jim Beers. He suffered a stroke in 1971 and was unable to move his limbs during 37 of the 40 years of marriage.
Jim died just a few years ago but his wife's dedication to him and to their relationship is a touching tribute to the power of the human soul.
Valentine's Day will be with us in just a few days.
Does your love come from your soul instead of your loins?
Is your love truly unconditional to the point where there is no pain or inconvenience that you wouldn't endure in order to be of loving service to that one single person to whom you've made a lifetime commitment?
In our culture of oversexed and superficial relationships, the meaning of true love is rarely put on display.
Unfortunately, this frequently means that a middle-aged man feels justified in dumping his wife for a perkier model with tight buns.
All of us need to know this: when the clumps of dirt are thrown upon our casket and we watch from afar in bodiless spirit form, the scorecard for our eternal existence will show a massive accumulation of points for those that loved truly and dearly and sacrificially.
Those that have loved superficially, unwilling to put aside concern for themselves, will find that they are watching their own burial from an uncomfortably warm climate.
If you want to be a true lover, sacrifice and never abandon.
After all, it's for better or for worse, right?