A Valentine’s Post: I Believe and I Don’t

I believe in romance.

I believe in the love between a man and a woman.

I believe that love can be sustained for a lifetime.

I believe in falling back in love over and over.

I believe in making up.

I believe that good marriages are wed of soft hearts and hard heads: a tenderness to love and be loved and a tenacity too bone-headed to quit.

I believe that laughter lasts longer than sex.

I believe that many people marry people they do not love.

I believe that desperation gets confused with affection.

I believe that many couples divorce that could have made it.

I believe that God can resurrect hearts that are stone-cold dead and create love between a couple ex nihilo.

I believe that couples can put in their fifty years like a prison sentence with souls that have been divorced for decades. And that Jesus sees right through it.

I believe some fights are worth having.

I believe that laziness is the leading narcotic of romance.

I believe that neglect is a form of infidelity.

I believe in the power of repentance to jump start a dead heart.

I believe the most important synonym of the word love in a marriage is forgiveness. I believe in working it through, crying it through, even fighting it through, then I believe in putting it behind you. For keeps. Love resists the inundating urge to bring back up the old with every new offense.

I believe that getting godly counseling is an act of courage.

I believe in the immeasurable power of mutual respect.

I believe that cynicism about romance is as unhealthy as believing in fairy tales.



But I do not believe in teaching our little girls that their worth will be measured by the love of a man. Unless that man is Jesus.

I do not believe in staying silent in a culture that says girls are as valuable as they are desirable.

I do not believe it is helpful that our constant go-to compliment to a little girl is how pretty she is.

She is also smart. And strong. And thoughtful. And artistic. And creative. And well able.

I do not believe in perpetuating the myth of happily-ever-after in marriage. I believe in teaching our adolescents that we can have love-ever-after, devotion-ever-after, hope-ever-after, and faith-ever-after but only if we don’t faint-ever-after. We prepare soldiers for real war but leave young couples ill-prepared for real marriage. I don’t believe that realism has to remotely equal pessimism.

I do not believe in teaching our girls that men are gods or devils.

I do not believe in marrying a man who won’t date you.

I don’t believe in making love to a man who won’t kiss you.


For what any of this is worth.


One last thing in case you’re still reading.


I believe that great marriages are great but that a good marriage can also be good. Amid the blur of magazine headlines and blog articles about how to have a great romance, a great marriage, great sex, great kids, great families, great jobs, great relationships, and fabulously great futures with great impact, save a little room in your heart to believe that good can also be good.

Because life’s just not always great.

But, man, it can be good.










209 Responses to “A Valentine’s Post: I Believe and I Don’t”

If you'd like your own pic by your comment, go to Gravatar.com. Click the first button "Get your gravatar today ->", and it will walk you through a simple process to select a picture.


  1. 1
  2. 2
    Mark Hyde says:

    I loved this Beth!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. 3
    Jenni Banicki says:

    So true!

    By the grace of God surviving the crisis of expectation of happily ever after.

    Good is good enough.

    Love, love, loved it!

  4. 4

    Beth, thank you for this post. I agree with every statement you made. Funny, I am sitting across the living room from my man of 24 years who has no idea what I’m reading and he is sending my text messages. Just because. Nothing earth shattering, just sweet. I will take a lifetime of good over a few moments of great. Thank you for encouraging marriage.

  5. 5
    Dawn Edgell says:

    Thanks! That was good.

  6. 6
    Joyce says:

    Absolutely fabulous!

  7. 7
    Lisa says:

    Thank you for these words, Beth. They mean the world to me today.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Steph says:

    THAT is good. Thanks, Beth. I’m saving this one.

  10. 10
    Laurel says:

    Perfectly said! Thank you for sharing!

  11. 11
    Shannon Pate says:

    That was good and great! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  12. 12
    Shelly Elston says:

    I love what you wrote. I’m loved well by a good, good man and so grateful for it. We make a decision every single day to love one another and be good partners. In our nearly 26 years of marriage, I can honestly say this last year has been one of our best. Time is a beautiful thing.

  13. 13
    Cara Kriz says:

    Love this! When you were in Biloxi this past June, you talked about a good marriage being good. Wish someone had told me all these things 15 years ago. Then again, I’m not sure I would have REALLY understood until learning it for myself.

    Thanks for sharing such wise words.

  14. 14
    Cheryl wright says:

    Bravo and Amen! I believe “what God has joined together; nothing but death separates…. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” Phillipians 4.

  15. 15
    Betty M says:

    Dear Beth,
    Great post and after being married for nearly 44 yrs I can say we still struggle at times. For all practical purposes our marriage should not have lasted.
    We lived very close to each set of parents with strong ties to our homes. We were involved in a farm partnership with a brother and his dysfunctional family.
    We raised not one but two special needs kids which required us to be frequent visitors to Mayo Clinic.
    We went through many hard years farming and ranching out here in unforgiving conditions.
    I suffered years of depression with wicked mood swings and recovered only to lose out entirely on my parent’s inheritance by the hands of a sibbling who also saw me do jail time ( a long story I won’t bore other with)
    What kept us together through it all? It wasn’t our great love for each other. It was not that we were “made” for each other. It certainly wasn’t great sex.
    Only by the grace of God and a life-long commitment we made to each other that beautiful June eve so long ago now.
    Are we still in love? That is a good question. We are aging and health issues get in the way of things. The physical attraction has long ago been replaced by something much deeper and stronger.
    will we grow old together? If Lord wills we will. We still enjoy life and look forward to all God has for us. A great sense of humor still helps. Something you need when reaching our age.
    Happy Valentines Day!
    Betty M

    • 15.1
      Melissa says:

      I love the story of your marriage and how you’ve continued on. Happy Valentine’s Day Betty!

    • 15.2
      Andrea Henley says:

      ^^^^ That’s IT right there! ^^^

      We are approaching 6 years of marriage and are preparing to move with two small children. Our first move with littles. In-tim-i-dating. But God will get us through all the rocky crazy unexpected AGGGGHHH that comes with every life change. Thanks for your posts, Betty and Beth. We CAN get through it, can’t we? We CAN live differently, can’t we?

      Yes, yes, and amen. Grateful for sister-support from you two and the Siestas as a whole.

  16. 16
    Margee says:

    This is so true. After 34 years of marriage, it is still a work in progress. But, worth it!

  17. 17
    Jariza Laubach says:

    Thank you for such an encouraging and true post.

  18. 18
    Tammy says:

    I believe you’re spot on!!
    HaPpY Valentines Day Beth!!

  19. 19
    Katherine Sloan says:

    powerful post!

  20. 20
    alyssa says:

    amen and amen, Siesta Mama! So glad my parents prepared me for something more than happily-ever-after. And so important to remember that life goes in phases. I haven’t always been happy with my parents, or my kids, or my husband, and certainly not with myself! But that doesn’t make me less of a daughter or mother, so it shouldn’t make me less of a wife. A lot of staying married and working through things is DECIDING to! I love what you said about hard heads! Thank God for my husband’s and my hard heads! It hasn’t always been easy, it hasn’t always been great, but it is GOOD because GOD is GOOD.

  21. 21
    Cheryl Anderson says:

    Preach it! Thanks for speaking the truth!

  22. 22
    Debra P says:

    Love this. Your “I believe” spoke volumes to my heart. Forty-one years in 10 days…totally worth it. There’s been some good, bad and ugly but through it all we kept believing that God was good and that He wanted to use our marriage to show Jesus to those around us. Keep writing and sharing. You are a blessing to so many.

  23. 23
    MK Miller says:

    Thank you… married 47 years and still going and there is truth in every word. God Bless you, Beth

    • 23.1
      Betty M says:

      Hey! MK Miller! You have me beat by a few!! It is something to celebrate when we can say we have been with the same man for over 40 and he is not even our Jesus!!!

  24. 24
    Fran McCurry Plott says:


  25. 25
    Tammy says:

    Oh so true Mama Beth. After 24 years of marriage, it is worth it. My Mr. Darcy 🙂 is the love do my life. Love each encouraging word you gave to us.

  26. 26
    Allie says:

    Little romance here. Tired and worn from it always being hard. Praying for it to someday be good. I know it’s worth it when it is. Jesus, redeem the almost broken ones for Your Name’s sake. Amen

    • 26.1
      Judi says:

      Thanks Beth. Married for 26 years. The past 4 years have been nothing but ‘for better or WORSE’, ‘ richer or POORER’, ‘SICKNESS and in health’ (emphasizing a very difficult journey which began in 2011). I am not the hero in this story, though many see me as the brave one. Thanks hubby for serving and giving me SO much.

    • 26.2
      Tracy says:

      Praying for you Allied!

    • 26.3
      Jenni Banicki says:

      Allie my heart goes out to you! I don’t know your circumstances, but I hear the pain in your post.

      If you’ve heard of the Christian recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman, you probably know that he is more than a little familiar with the sorrows life can bring. I think one of his songs says it best, “But I had no way of knowing/ Just how hard this journey would be/ ’cause the valleys are deeper and the mountains are steeper/ than I ever would have dreamed.”

      It’s just hard sometimes and sometimes it stays hard for a long time.

      But no matter what it looks like or sounds like or feels like, you are LOVED, CHOSEN, and CHERISHED! The ultimate valentine was written in the blood of our savior – and that’s a love that never disappears, never turns away, and never disappoints.

      You are a treasured part of the kingdom of God and a princess in the arms of Jesus. I pray that the Lord will show you this day what a delight you are to His heart.

  27. 27
    Karmen says:

    AMEN! Fantastic! So love the thought that we prepare soldiers for real battle but not our young couples! There is such a ministry platform right there in that one sentence. 🙂

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Susan Kuruvilla says:

    Ms Beth, This is just so beautiful and true! Thank you for the blessing of this post! We love you!

  30. 30
    Melissa May says:

    And all the people said AMEN! I agree with it all but especially love what you said at the end. Since when did GOOD stop being GOOD??? After all (or before all!)… When God made the world, He didn’t say it was Great! He said it was GOOD.

  31. 31
    Diana A. says:



  32. 32
    Jamie says:

    I wish every woman could treasure these truths in their hearts. So important for our daughters to hear and believe! Thanks Beth!

  33. 33
    Julie Reynolds says:

    Amen and amen!! My man and I will celebrate 25 years this September and some of those years have been hard fought but I wouldn’t trade any of them for what we have right now. We love like we mean it.

  34. 34
    Teresa Conlon says:

    Beth thank you so much for sharing! Sitting here on a Friday night feeling so alone even tho my husband is in the other room! He is in one of his moods so I pray in the other room through tears.
    The words God can rsurrect a stone cold heart just jumped out at me tonight! I will hold on to that and speak it out loud!!

    Pray for my husband he is rsisting Gods power over him and that is why he is so angry.

    I thank you from the bottomof my heart for your unselfish dedication to us fish:)

  35. 35
    Tanya Smith says:

    Ms Beth you outdid yourself. Again. Thanks

  36. 36
    Colette says:

    LOVE!! 🙂

  37. 37
    Heather says:

    This is wonderful!

  38. 38
    LaRay says:

    The word COMMITTMENT isn’t in many marriages today. I’m so thankful it has been in ours for almost 49 years!! Thick and thin!!

  39. 39
  40. 40
    Margie Pendergraft says:

    Amen to what you wrote, and I will say I’m so happy that God is not just good he is Great! Happy Valentine’s Day and God Bless!

  41. 41
    Kathy Ericksen says:

    Good word filled with good truth. Thanks!

  42. 42
    Pat says:

    Thank you Beth! I am praying & waiting for God to resurrect my dead marriage and restore the love we both had for each other. Almost two years ago God spoke to me that He was going to give me the Godly man I desired and it was going to be my husband – that He was going to transform us into the couple He intended for us to be all along. I’m standing for my marriage and waiting on God’s timing to fulfill His promise to me.

  43. 43
    Astrid says:

    Beautiful words. They mean so much because I know you have lived them. I love when you share snippets of your marriage- I sense a deep grace there. xoxox

  44. 44
    Karen Anderson says:

    This is good!

  45. 45
    Judi says:

    Thanks Beth. Married for 26 years. The past 4 years have been nothing but ‘for better or WORSE’, ‘ richer or POORER’, ‘SICKNESS and in health’ (emphasizing a very difficult journey which began in 2011). I am not the hero in this story, though many see me as the brave one. Thanks hubby for serving and giving me SO much.

  46. 46
    Robrenna says:

    Amen and then some especially about teaching our girls and boys about the realities of marriage and commitment and about worth. It is all about Christ alone our solid ground! Stand on Him in everything you do especially your marriage! Love to hear how you and your husband were in early stages of marriage. I was saved 12 years before my husband was. It was work staying married and lots of prayers. Going on 16 years to God be the Glory! God is good….All the time!!!!

  47. 47
    Cynthia says:

    Wow! Spot on and inspired by the Spirit! I believe and have experienced many of these points!

  48. 48
    lynda rickey says:

    Thank you! Great marching orders.

  49. 49
    Ann Thiede says:

    From a woman whose 30 years of marriage was not only saved but regenerated beyond anything I could ask or think after a year of marriage mentoring, I just want to AMEN your wise, God-inspired likes and dislikes. You are dear to my heart, Beth Moore.

  50. 50
    Samantha R says:

    Thank you for this , Beth ! I have an 11 MONTH old daughter and am a first time mom and will forever remember to compliment other things besides how pretty she is( she is so beautiful) ! But I will remember to not just tell her that but to also tell her how smart and sweet and godly and thoughtful and funny she is. Thank you!!!!
    Also, I really would love to read a book from you and your husband on marriage!! I love seeing how in love yall are after all these years and would love to know your secret!
    One more thing… Thank you for being a world changer and a life changer! And even though we’ve never met… Thank you for being my dear friend !!!

Leave a Reply

To receive a daily digest of comments on this post, enter your email address below: