Reference Point Devotional

Matters of the Heart

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner there are A LOT of people already wondering how to maneuver through the day. The flowers… the chocolates… the balloons. Those tokens of affection. Oh, my. Even the little ones who set their carefully -or not so carefully- decorated Valentine’s Day boxes in place are wild with excitement wondering how many valentines they will receive or if their current heartthrob will give them a card. (Big sigh.) But college students? Now there’s a storyboard of adventure to watch unfold. Singing telegrams (in the library, no less), the campus mail room counters overflowing with floral arrangements, balloons, candy grams, packages from home and those far away sweethearts are all processed by an end-of-the-day exhausted mail room staff who have diligently let students know, “You’ve got mail.” Honestly, it can be a real zoo. But that’s just ONE side of the story. What about the delicate skill of having the DTR conversation, you know…. “Define the Relationship?” That emotional span ranges from, “This Could be the Start of Something Big!” to the comment of my ten-year-old friend (with a 90-year-old soul) who says, “That can’t be good.” Yes, Valentine’s Day has the potential of supreme jubilation, unrequited love, and at its worst utter disappointment.

Consider some of the great love stories in Scripture that portray a lopsided or disproportionate relationship filled with unwavering loyalty or protective love. Abigail, for example, deserves profound admiration for intervening on behalf of her uncouth husband, Nabal. Or the utter devotion of Hosea who endlessly rescued Gomer from her wayward behavior. But then there is the beautifully rich story of the kinsman redeemer, Boaz, who provided a secure future for Ruth and Naomi and ultimately an heir in the lineage of the Lord, Jesus Christ. And, in the New Testament, Joseph is commended for his sterling character to protect Mary before the birth of Christ.

But what about today, you know, the here and now? Perhaps there is a vendor, student, colleague, faculty member, patron, or employee who could use an extra measure of charity found in I Corinthians 13.

Or perhaps on a personal level a dose of affirmation, value, or worth are needed? Consider these rich words:

  • “… I have loved you with an everlasting love and with loving kindness have I drawn you.” (Jeremiah 31:3 Amplified Bible)
  • For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
  • I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 ESV)
  • But God showed his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 ESV)
  • Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39 NLT)

So as we participate, observe, or remember the stories of Valentine’s Day may the truths of Scripture find their way deep into the crevices of our hearts. Happy Valentine’s Day…. a little bit early.

Lynne Funtik

Lynne retired as the Information Services Librarian from Cedarville University in 2017. At that time she was awarded the ACL Lifetime Service Award. She has been an ACL member since 1987 and currently resides in Xenia, Ohio.