Sweetness On The Shelf

Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Just As I Am Without One Plea"1 (Lyrics)

John 10:10 – The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (NKJV)

My husband Larry was about five years older than his sister, Carol. When she was a teenager, one Valentine's Day, she received a box of candy from her latest beau. Not wanting to disturb the beautiful heart-shaped box, she set it up in her room unopened with the cellophane still intact. Larry and his brother, Dave, cut a candy-sized hole in the bottom and shook all the candy out, piece by piece. It was months before his sister realized that the sweet treats were all gone.

Many times, our marriages work in the same way! We set what is so precious on a shelf, not wanting to disturb the memory of the love and romance that we had once shared. We glance at it occasionally and admire it there on the shelf, as we wait to get the kids raised and make a successful career. As years go by, it still looks okay, but inside slowly but surely it becomes empty and a shell of what it was. Sadly, when we finally have time, we find that the box is hardly recognizable. The thief has struck!

Once we began our family, Larry and I took to parenting like ducks to water. We seldom got a babysitter because we just enjoyed having the kids with us. I remember one wedding anniversary when the kids were small, having the waitress bring us three high chairs. Between cutting up food, wiping messy mouths, and cleaning up spilled milk, romance flew out the door. Reality finally hit one evening when we got a sitter to watch the kids while we did something alone. As we pulled away by ourselves, I suddenly felt at a loss for words. I was so used to centring our conversations around the kids that I had forgotten how to talk to my husband. The lesson that I learned that evening was that if there were to be an "us" after the kids left, it was not going to happen accidentally. From that night on, I began to give more thought to the future and to what kind of relationship I wanted to have with the man I married. There were more alone times — not always big flashy dates, but times when he and I could talk. We took walks to catch up on each other, and now and then, a weekend away gave us time to regroup and refresh.

As I watch the hectic lives of families today, I know that time spent alone is nearly impossible, especially with small children. I believe that the "thief", the devil, likes it that way and uses every opportunity to steal away those sweet morsels. I thank God for the sweet morsels of life that we have enjoyed together and the memories of raising a family, but I look forward to more days of laughter and love with the love of my life.

Stand guard over what God has given you, so that the thief doesn't steal the love that you have for one another. Happy Valentine's Day!

Prayer: You, O Lord, are the One Who gave us the love that husband and wife share in marriage. Help us to cherish and protect it all our lives. Amen.

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About the author:

Jeanie Nihiser <jnihiserj@gmail.com>
Cerro Gordo, Illinois, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good advice, Jeanie.

    Good advice, Jeanie, thank you.

    A “LOVELY” reminder! Thank you!

    Thanks for today’s reminder!!!! Love is precious!

    Terrific article. Thanks so much for sharing this insight, Praise to God.

    I love this, thank you. Happy Valentines Day!

    Thanks for the insight. I can relate to the experience. Now married for 65 years.

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Jeanie, and thanks for the reminder to keep our love alive.

    Today’s memories are filled with yesterday’s moments of joy. Thanks for the reminder. Have a blessed Valentine’s day. Blessings.

    Thank you, Jeanie, for your very “sweet” devotional on this Valentine’s Day. May the Lord’s loving care and ways be spread among many couples today. Blessings for your special writings.

    Thank you for your devotion today. If everyone read your devotion and acted on it there would be more love in the world and less hate.
    I pray that will happen. A truly God reminder of love.

    So much insight into the realities of marriage. I would hope that this would be a part of premarital counseling, if such a thing exists today.
    Maybe a copy of your advice should accompany every marriage licence.

    As a trained marriage and premarital counsellor the importance of feeding a relationship can never survive on leftovers. Bless you Jeanie and your husband for discovery of this needed nourishment.

    What a perfect devotional for Valentine’s Day. I nodded my head as I read it.
    Thank you.

    Lovely message, Jeanie, and a good reminder to us all to treasure the love we have and not keep it hidden.
    Blessings to you
    (ON, Canada)

    So much truth here! My parents blessed us with little weekends away when our children were young, and I try to do the same for our children. Too often couples are so wrapped up in parenting, that they forget how to be a couple. No wonder so many marriages fall apart when they become empty nesters!
    Perhaps this reminder in your devotion will help.

    God bless you with this beautiful reminder. I could not agree with you more. We need to cherish what God has given us, it can be gone in a heartbeat, literally. I for the first time in 27 years will go to the cemetery today to put roses on the grave of the love of my life. God is faithful and His ways are higher than mine. I have peace knowing where my loved one is and that makes all the difference in the world. Enjoy your day.
    God bless.

    Hi Jeanie,
    Thanks for the wonderful devotional today. A perfect Valentine’s Devotional. I really enjoyed it and looking back with little ones growing up it does not take long to get caught up in their lives and couples times some days slip away. Thanks for the devotional for today.
    Blessings to you,
    (Ontario Canada)

    Good morning, Jeanie,
    I am sure Carol was not very happy with her brothers when she noticed the missing treats unless she has a great sense of humour and also enjoyed the joke. I grew up with five brothers and learned to understand their humour.
    Your message is so important, and I think it happens to many of us. We are not as wise as you to notice and do something about it. Congratulations.
    Thanks for sharing and wishing you and Larry a Happy Valentines Day. Blessings.

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