It seems that people of most every culture enjoy a good contest and/or an award.
Every year in our country we have Miss America and Mrs. America contests. There is the ‘Man of the Year,’ ‘Woman of the Year,’ and Person of the Decade. Various voters choose the Best Picture and Most Valuable Player.
Surely somewhere there must be a Valentine’s Day contest of some sort: best looking couple, most-in-love couple, best dancing couple. Even the late Paul Harvey had a daily most-years-of-wedded-bliss couple.
So why can’t we have such an award? Only instead of concentrating on cupids and hearts, flowers and candy, Hollywood love and Larry King’s marriage numbers, it would serve our purpose well to focus on the lives of some Biblical couples who were, no doubt, very much in love. In doing so, we stand to gain some insight into what true love is all about.
And the nominees are…
1) Adam and Eve
Not only was their wedding attended and officiated by God—they were the first married couple! Adam was a one-woman man and Eve a one-man woman. If not married the longest, their marriage was certainly in contention for being the longest!
2) Isaac and Rebecca
These two might be the poster couple for an ‘arranged marriage’ that worked and lasted! After Abraham’s servant had journeyed far, found Rebecca and brought her back to Palestine, we are given to believe that almost at first sight Isaac ‘loved her.’ Isaac may have been somewhat of a ‘mamma’s boy’ before, but Rebecca likely changed that quickly.
3) Joseph and Mary
Angel messengers, public scandal and contemplated divorce, heavenly intervention, miraculous conception and virgin birth, the Babe who was the Savior and Son of the Highest…. Surely these two were strong contenders based on the wedding/birth/Savior elements alone.
All in all, three couples
worthy of consideration!
And the winners of our Valentine’s Day contest are…a fourth coup:
Priscilla and Aquila!
If you disagree—and before you cry ‘foul’ or ‘obviously rigged’—consider the following. These two Christians were evidently close friends of the Apostle Paul. They had first met Paul in Corinth after they had been expelled from Rome by the Emperor Claudius (see Acts 18:2).
Their relationship with Paul was not hurt by the fact that all three of them were tentmakers. Obviously the couple was hospitable, for Paul stayed with them in Corinth while he taught there and preached Christ crucified and risen again. The Scripture records also indicate that church meetings were held in the home of this hospitable couple.
It seems likely that sometime during Paul’s stay in Corinth, Aquila and Priscilla put their lives on the line for the apostle. In his Epistle to the Romans Paul wrote: “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles” (16:3-4).
And when Paul departed Corinth for Syria, Aquila and Priscilla were with him. At Ephesus this dynamic couple met the equally dynamic Apollos who, though he was “fervent in spirit” and “spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord,” yet “he knew only the baptism of John.” Hence Aquila and Priscilla “took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:25-26).
After further travels, Aquila and Priscilla ended up back in Ephesus.
We don’t have all the details, but it seems obvious that this couple served God effectually and faithfully for years. And when all is said and done, this is what a truly Christian life and marriage is all about, is it not?!
In what might be called a ‘love’ chapter (1 John 4), John testified that ‘God is love,’ ‘love is of God,’ and ‘everyone who loves is born of God.’ He also said that ‘we love Him because He first loved us,’ and God ‘sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’
Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
Working, hosting, helping, evangelizing for Christ, praying, sacrificing, serving, teaching, suffering and traveling together—always together for a lifetime! Always together in Christ—giving honor and glory to God in everything!
If that’s not true love, what is?
Aquila and Priscilla – our Valentine Life Award winners!