We are once again in the season of magic...flowers, chocolates, candle-lit rendezvous, poetry and with the upsurge of dating sites and other online aids, the aura of Valentine will be brighter than ever.
Song of Solomon 5 I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying , Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.  I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?
Even Shakespeare in “Romeo and Juliet” does not outdo Solomon’s Bible romantic prose... but we are wise to observe the complete counsel of God. The Bible helps us see that the believer must come to realise that he is here on assignment and the Lord did not deliver the children of Israel to partying in the wilderness or do their own thing. God said let my people go that they may serve me. The Christian who decides to live for himself or for the world is yet dead in disobedience and rebellion while alive.
God created Adam and gave him work to do. He gave him the garden to till, He gave Eve to Adam as a suitable helper in the assignment. She was given to him for companionship and he was to work along with her even as she was to be fruitful in her womb. The woman was not made as an afterthought. God deliberately delayed her creation making her different so the man can appreciate his wife and they can complement each other. This is reality.
However there are examples that reveal other agendas ... helping us spot and avoid the landmines.
1. Jacob makes a fool of himself ...weeping for love at first sight on seeing Rachel. His obsession results in slaving for a con artist – Laban for 14years.
Genesis 29 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.  And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.
Rachel was later noted for importing the idols of Laban into his home. Gen 31:34
2. Solomon – a man of great wisdom and libido we learn had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. I Kings 11:3. His legacy was a divided kingdom in chaos.
3. David risked life and destiny to obtain 200 foreskins of the Philistines to win the heart of the bewitching Michal – daughter of Saul - who was especially assigned to David as a snare...and ended barren.
4. Moses was immediately attracted to Zipporah and served as help for his father in law – The Midianite priest in the wilderness for 40 years. Zipporah called him a bloody husband (over circumcision of his son) and for a while had to be sent back ( Exodus 4:25; Exodus 18:2)
5. Samson, the irresistible heroic valentino of the Old Testament – could have who he wanted when he wanted. He ended up blinded and buried alive under Philistine rubble.
On the other hand, we see the model of Esther ... a woman who through marriage became Queen and heroine... reminding us of the deeper assignments in marriage. Esther survived her choice and her destiny – not because of her beauty, perfume, makeup or magnetic attraction but because she recognised and accepted her divine assignment at the risk of her life and all her dreams. She knew about fasting and obedience to God.
Esther 4 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
Marriage is of God and not really ours to venture into as we wish. God must also choose our partners... this He does based on His revealed word (not a voice in your dreams). The world view has had more than a lot of help to push its perspective ... and there is a deluge of romance materials, artefacts and traditions to affect our mindset.
So what distinguishes voodoo from reality in romance and marriage. Three points are always worth remembering. Begin with much prayers and very importantly the assumption that divorce is not an option. Expect to be humbled of your lofty positions and to need divine mercy and help all through the journey.
1. Be not unequally yoked – as your father-in-law will have a right into your space anytime. The father of the unbeliever is the devil. Marriage to unbelievers are unbiblical – and is recipe for disaster.
2. If you are single and your heart is beating uncontrollably and you feel consumed by passions and all your thoughts seem to have been reined by this person. It is safe to assume that your spirit has been ravaged and you need help of a different kind...you are not in love...you are just not seeing clearly enough for an important decision.
3. If the physically mature single man does not possess clear vision, or the means to provide (financially, emotionally and also spiritual leadership) for his spouse and home at reasonable levels – then he should not deny the faith by seeking marriage... he should pray first for a job. I Timothy 5 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. (Be cautious ... there is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. What you have purchased is a wolf – not a husband) Remember Rebekah did see the gifts and loaded camels to follow the servant of Abraham to Isaac. You are fearfully made as the princess of the King of Kings...Please never settle for what God has not ordained for you. (Genesis 24)
God give us Christian homes! Homes where the Bible is loved and taught.
Homes where the Master’s will is sought...Homes crowned with beauty thy love has wrought
God give us Christian homes; God give us Christian homes. ( B. B. Mckinney)
Still...do not forget the chocolates and the flowers – and to be patient and always show affection to your spouse. May you not fall into the trap of the enemy of your soul. May your home (present and future) be crowned with beauty and adorned with love, peace and joy. Amen