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Say It With Beef

Men's Concerns Cultural Trends Valentine's Day

Source: “Nothing says 'I love you' like flowers made of dried-out beef,” by ROBIN SHREEVES, Mother Nature Network, February 1, 2017.

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-03-17

Scripture: John 15:12

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Robin Shreeves with Mother Nature Network writes:

The lovely roses in the picture above are made with beef jerky, the brainchild of a company called Say It With Beef.

But what is it you're hoping to say, and to whom? I think that depends on the situation. This "broquet" as its creators are calling it, can say many things. It can say to your Valentine, "Flowers die quickly but beef jerky lasts for a really, really long time." It can say, "You're a dude and I had no idea what to buy you. Have some beef." Or perhaps they're just a way to congratulate a guy on a new job, bachelor pad or car.

These dozen beef roses could be perfect this Valentine's Day and on other occasions in which you need to remind the recipient that he's so manly that he deserves dried-out beef flowers in a beer mug. 

APPLICATION

We rightfully place an emphasis on the celebration of femininity in our society. In fact, we have an entire industry dedicated to that purpose.  Flowers are a wonderful way to express appreciation for that special woman in your life.  But what about the men? What about the masculine characteristics of strength, provision, protection and initiative that are often associate with men?  

What is the appropriate way to celebrate masculinity? Is the answer really beef jerky flowers in a beer mug? Or, perhaps the better question might be, is masculinity even considered a positive trait in today's politically correct climate?  Isn't it true that masculinity in general, and the masculine role in particular, have been disparaged in western society? Even acknowledging these as masculine traits can cause offense to some, as though such a thing somehow makes women less equal. 

But here's the thing: God does not intend for our lives to be a competition. Rather, we are here to learn to love and appreciate one another.  And that means both acknowledging and celebrating our differences. 

Find a way to celebrate your man for the role of he plays in your life.  It can be anything, even beef jerky flowers, if the message is that you are celebrating him for being him.

"This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you" (John 15:12, NLT). 

The Five Stages Of Love

Valentine's Day Marriage Love (Human)

Source: Bright Side, "There are five stages of love, but many people get stuck at the third," retrieved 2-10-17

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-02-07

Scripture: Proverbs 5:18

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Have you ever been confused by the demise of the relationship of what seemed to be the perfect couple? The folks at Bright Side have set forth what they believe to be the answer for why this happens. They suggest the problem is that many couples, who are genuinely in love, fail to keep their relationship together through all five stages of love, often only reaching the third.  For a couple to persevere, it is suggested that they work through all five of the following stages:

FALLING IN LOVE

Falling in love is the stage when you find yourself living through a cloud of happiness hormones. This is the time when you project all of your desires and hopes onto your partner. Your partner rapidly becomes the ideal person for you; they simply have no flaws of any kind. You believe he or she will always be able to fulfill your every wish, and you believe every word they say. You so believe in the power of true love right now that no skeptical voices can make you stop and think more cautiously.

BECOMING A COUPLE

At this stage, love becomes stronger ... and your presence begins to have an effect on all aspects of your partner’s life. This is a time of unity and joy. At some point, after many months or years, this period may witness the appearance of children, which can only strengthen the bond between you. You feel protected and desired. And you believe that you’ve definitely found the person for you — that your relationship was decided by fate.

DISILLUSIONMENT

This is the period when your hopes begin to be dashed. It’s when you start to get the impression that your feelings may one day dissipate, never to return. That your partner is becoming so totally predictable, and their behavior annoys you in so many ways. You start to feel like you want a break from them or even tell yourself that they’re not the one for you. The further thought occurs that there’s no point in torturing yourself and your partner in a relationship that’s run out of steam.

CREATING REAL, LASTING LOVE

If you close your eyes and try your hardest to carry on despite your reluctance, you might get through the third stage and come to the following one. Your mind is freed from those illusions which you projected onto your partner in the earlier stages. The person standing in front of you is not the one you imagined being with, but a real person. You accept — and more importantly — understand their shortcomings. Now is the time to heal and to move on to the final stage.

USING THE POWER OF TWO TO CHANGE THE WORLD

Now that you realize that you’ve learned to overcome your disagreements and found a deep, strong, long-lasting connection, you’ll reach a further liberating conclusion: that the two of you have the power to change something in this world. You’re not just going along together through this life for the sake of it, but you live in a partnership for the sake of a bigger cause. It might be that you work together, write together, create something together — it could be anything. But it’s when you start to function as a whole, having transcended all the previous stages, that you can say with 100% certainty that "this is the person for me."

APPLICATION

From a secular point of view, this is a pretty good overview of how romantic love fades and what to do about it. To take full advantage of the wisdom found here, add the mutual experience of God’s love to the relationship as early as possible. It will empower and deepen the love that’s already there, provide extra incentive for the healing and forgiveness needed in stages 3 and 4, and become a built-in “higher purpose” as the couple discovers how they are uniquely equipped to join forces and take God’s love to the world.

"Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving deer, a graceful doe.  Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love" (Proverbs 5:18-19, NLT). 

The Bride Who Wears Her Wedding Gown Everyday

Marriage Valentine's Day Love for God

Source: "This Woman Has Worn a Wedding Dress Every Day for 10 Years" by Bridal Guide, published Yahoo! Shine, 4/4/14

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-12-30

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 2:4 ; Ecclesiastes 2:6

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Xiang Junfeng says her wedding day was the happiest day of her life and she never wanted it to end. So to keep it going, she decided she would wear her wedding dress every day of her married life. As of this writing, Xiang has been married for 10 years!

Called "Sister Wedding Gown" by her neighbors and friends, Xiang actually has several wedding gowns which she rotates in and out of her wardrobe, even wearing them when she works in the field. She believes they represent how happy and fortunate she feels to have found her husband.

Bridal Guide reports:

Junfeng's wedding day was especially meaningful because it wasn't just a celebration of love - it was a celebration of her freedom. Originally from Jimo, China, she was kidnapped at the age of 18, sold as a slave, and forced to marry an elderly man in Linyi. It took 15 years until she could escape to Liujiazhuang village, where she was helped by a local woman. When she later met the woman's brother, the two immediately hit it off. "I had only ever known a violent and abusive man, and I avoided men until I met my new partner, who brought me truly out of my shell and treated me so differently…I couldn't believe it when he asked me to marry him," she said. "We felt comfortable with each other, so we have been together since then. I am very happy now, as my husband is very good to me."

APPLICATION

What a beautiful way for a bride to express her gratitude and deep love for her groom.  As the Bride of Christ, we should feel no less wonder and appreciation for having found our Bridegroom--Jesus Himself.  We once lived in bondage, but have been rescued and redeemed to live in the freedom of His love. May we wear the joy that we have found in Him everyday, for the whole world to see. 

"I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine" (Song of Solomon 6:3) … "He has brought me to his banquet hall, and his banner over me is love" (Song of Solomon 2:4). 

Love From Beyond the Grave

Christmas Valentine's Day Motherhood

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-26

Author: Illustration Exchange
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A Rose By Any Name-You Choose

Valentine's Day Human Worth Eternal Life

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-09-21

Scripture: 1 John 3:1 ; Romans 6:23

Author: Illustration Exchange
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The Science of the Kiss

Love (Divine) Intimacy Valentine's Day

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-02-07

Scripture: Psalms 85:10

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

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A Voodoo Valentine

Retribution Relationships Valentine's Day

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-02-10

Scripture: Isaiah 53:5 ; Philippians 4:8

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Jesus' Burden Is Light

Rest Relationships Love (Uncondtional)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2020-02-02

Scripture: Matthew 11:29

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Don't Wait To Say, "I Love You"

Love (Human) Family (Values) Marriage

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2019-10-17

Scripture: John 13:34 ; 1 Peter 4:8

Author: Charles Krieg
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"I'll Love You Forever"

Salvation Love (Divine) Parenting

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2019-02-16

Scripture: Jeremiah 31:3 ; John 3:16

Author: Neal Pollard
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