The History Of Love Stories In Scriptures
Written by G Njuguna on February 14, 2022
MARY AND JOSEPH
One might not typically look at the narrative surrounding Mary and Joseph as a Valentine’s Day story, but it is a fascinating recounting of real-life events that can teach us quite a bit.
The story, which is told in the gospels, centers on Mary, a woman who found herself miraculously with child, and Joseph, a man willing to look past uncertainty to abide by God and enter into the couple’s planned union.
Matthew 1:20-24 (NIV) explains what unfolded after Joseph initially found out Mary was with child and considered not going forward with the matrimony.
“An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”
Joseph could have walked away, but he chose to listen to God and love Mary (and Jesus) anyway — a biblical Valentine’s Day story worthy of endless reflection.
ADAM AND EVE
The first Valentine’s Day story in the Bible unfolds in the book of Genesis when God created Adam and Eve.
The first humans — who also became the world’s first married couple — made some mistakes along the way, but they serve as a timeless biblical model of God’s creation, and His plan for marriage for humanity.
The husband and wife end up being the catalysts for all of the “firsts” in the human race, with their union serving as an example we can all look at.
This one speaks to the power and importance of love.
RUTH AND BOAZ
The Book of Ruth delivers yet another powerful love story. You might recall Naomi’s ordeal; she suffered a great loss after her sons and husband died.
When she decided to move back to Bethlehem, Ruth, one of her daughters-in-law who was widowed, decided to go with her. As Naomi transformed from despair to happiness, a love also forms between Ruth and and a man named Boaz.
Ruth eventually marries Boaz, ushering in joy for the family and some love story worth noting. Ruth 4:13-17 (NIV) tells this part of the story:
“So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: ‘Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.’
Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. The women living there said, ‘Naomi has a son!’ And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.”
ISAAC AND REBEKAH
This brings us to yet another love story in the Bible involving Isaac and Rebekah. Isaac, as Jewish and Christian readers know, was the son God promised to Abraham and Sarah. We learn in Genesis 24 that Abraham was old and found himself seeking a wife for his son.
So, he turned to a servant and asked him to find Isaac a spouse. It’s not your typical Valentine’s Day story to say the least, but in the end the servant met Rebekah and brought her back to marry Isaac.
Genesis 24:67 (NIV) tells us what unfolded after Isaac and Rebekah met: “Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”
ZECHARIAH AND ELIZABETH
Our final exploration of love stories in the Bible centers on Zechariah and Elizabeth. We find their story in the New Testament in the Book of Luke.
What’s perhaps most compelling about Zechariah and Elizabeth is that they face some of the same issues as many contemporary couples. Additionally, they are intricately tied to Mary, Joseph, and the birth of baby Jesus.
Luke 1 reveals that Zechariah and Elizabeth were both old and unable to have children — a struggle many couples face. But then a miracle unfolded after the angel Gabriel revealed to Zechariah that he and Elizabeth would have a child.
Elizabeth reveals her joy in Luke 1:25 (NIV): “The Lord has done this for me. In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
This is yet another relatable love story that gives us hope and confidence in the Lord.