Enduring Love

Valentine’s Day 2024 is my first Valentine’s Day in 44 years without my husband. Please do not feel sorry for me. I’ve received unexpected cards, chocolates, and other expressions of love. And I have a dinner date with the cutest, sweetest 6-year-old little man, who looks a lot like his Bop.

Jim and I had our first date on January 18, 1980. Less than a month later, on Valentine’s Day, Jim took me to The Peddler for dinner. I wore a black velvet dress; he a suit, white shirt, and red tie. We waited for over an hour for a table, as Valentine’s Day was a “no reservations” night. Waiting didn’t matter to us. We were enthralled by the atmosphere of the restaurant and each other.

After a delicious meal, we walked to the car. Jim kissed me and said, “I love you.” I remember well the herd of butterflies that alighted inside me. They continued to flutter in the weeks and months to come.

In June, we again had a special dinner at The Peddler. This time, after dinner, Jim reached in his jacket pocket. I stopped him, and said, “I want this to happen at home,” so we went to 110 Greenbriar Road, where we sat on the sunroom love seat. Jim asked me to marry him and presented me with my engagement ring. After that, things moved fast.

Our wedding day was November 8, 1980.

I could tell you we had a fairy tale marriage, but that wouldn’t be true. We experienced hurdles—medical emergencies, infertility, misunderstandings, differences of opinion, steely silences, but the overarching element in our marriage was love, and along with love, forgiveness.

1 Corinthians 13 is often referred to as the “love chapter.” This chapter lists the qualities of a love that is true, sincere, kind, patient, and unselfish. Most of us rarely live up to the ideals set forth in 1 Corinthians 13, but those standards provide us with a goal.


Faith was the backbone of our marriage. Faith remains sturdy when life’s storms rage. Without the constant reminder of God’s unfailing love, grace, and forgiveness, the difficulties of life, and love, would be impossible to navigate.


Hope is the quality that ignites forward motion. With hope, we move on, even when circumstances threaten to freeze us in grief or discouragement. The hope of heaven, the hope of seeing Jim again, allows me to move ahead in this life without him.


1 Peter 4:8 NIV reminds us to “love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” I don’t think this is an admonition to ignore hurts, or to bury them, but rather to let love smooth the way for forgiveness.

What does enduring love mean to you? One of the definitions of “enduring” is “durable,” which means able to exist a long time without significant deterioration in quality or value.

Enduring, durable love is a love that lasts eternally, a love that death cannot dimmish or stop.

Are you loving deeply and forgiving rapidly?

“But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us” (Romans 5:8 AMPC).

“Love never comes to an end” (1 Corinthians 13:8 GW).


Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to https://candyarrington.com/blog/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.






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