Valentine’s Day is about hearts, marriage, romance, and ribs. Yes - ribs.
Years ago at the local church camp my husband, Pat, was going through the obstacle course with some friends. At one point there was a 10 foot wall. The objective was to get every man in the group over the wall. Pat was one of the guys who stood up on the shoulders of someone else and made it to the top. He leaned over the railing to see if he could reach a friend on the bottom. The friend jumped up to catch Pat’s hand and Pat, who had not braced himself, took the man's weight on his ribs. Two of his ribs cracked. The more seriously Pat is injured the less he complains. So except for some minor grumbling about being bruised, he continued on.
One of the next tasks on the course was an exercise in trust. Pat-of-the-Broken-Ribs had to stand on a six foot platform and fall backwards into the arms of his friends. The men were supposed to catch him and mostly they did. Pat’s feet were up but his head just missed hitting the ground.
Pat waited to moan and groan about his injuries until he got home. I immediately suggested a quick trip for x-rays, but no, three days later he finally gave in. The doctor confirmed that the ribs were indeed broken. Pat was taped around the middle and sent home to rest. The doctor told him not to have so much fun next time.
In Genesis 2 God promised to create a suitable helper for Adam.
21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The first blood shed in the Bible is here in the second chapter of Genesis. God opened up Adam’s flesh and removed his rib. In the Bible, when a covenant is made blood is often shed to bind the agreement.
The first Adam shed blood for the creation of his bride, Eve. The second Adam, Jesus, shed His blood for the creation of His bride, the church. The first Adam’s side was pierced for Eve. Jesus’ side was pierced on the cross for the salvation of His bride.
Genesis says “the Lord God made a woman from the rib.” It doesn’t say God took a rib and built a woman around it. It says that the woman is the rib.
What is a rib? What does a rib do? A rib protects important body parts from injury. A rib protects the heart. It is part of the major defense system of the body to protect the vulnerable soft heart and lungs from outside attack.
How is a wife like a rib? A wife is to protect her husband’s heart. She knows all his tender vulnerable parts. She knows where he can be crushed and broken. She is to defend her husband against the onslaught of the world. She is to be a place of peace and rest. She is the defender of her husband’s heart.
How does it feel to have a broken rib? Pat will tell you it feels terrible! Every breath taken is a painful one - even if you don’t complain. Ladies don't be a broken rib.
Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
Proverbs 31: 10-12
On Valentine’s Day, ladies remember that you are the protector of your husband’s heart.
And gentlemen - even a Snickers bar looks good if you tie a red ribbon around it.