If you’re a Christian in the south, you’ve heard of James Avery. It’s a store that sells fancy, custom Christian jewelry. Buy a crucifix from a non-believer? Sinner. You need to be giving your Valentine’s Day budget right back to Jesus, and that’s what happens when you shop at James Avery. Buy your girlfriend a heart shaped pendant from James Avery and you’re guaranteed to be well on the way to holy-hand-holding (Christian 3rd base) in no time.

One wonderful pendant you can buy your schnookie-pooky-sugar-honey-lollipop (or whatever people call girlfriends these days) is a two-piece heart shaped set. She wears one half, you wear the other half. I know. Adorbs.

Here’s a pic taken from their website:

Jesus loves this relationship.

Jesus loves this relationship.

Oh. My. Gosh. Can you even believe how cute and Godly that is? I can hear it, almost as if I said it myself:

“Baby, I’m leaving for this one week missions trip down to Juarez, and it kills me that I won’t even be able to watch your Snaps or send you Grams of my meals. So I got you this necklace so that God would watch over our relationship and make sure you don’t dump me while I’m gone doing God’s work. You wouldn’t do that, would you? God’s work. Remember that. Love you!”

My heart just melted, twice. Like if I had two hearts, they would both melt. Don’t cows have two hearts? Or is that stomachs? Whatever, they’re all just melted big time.

Here’s the problem, which happens to be a problem with the vast majority of “Christian” products out there: This verse is taken violently out of context. Please, allow me to explain.

That quote on there is Genesis 31:49. Looks all well and good until you read the whole chapter. Or half of it. Or even the next six freaking verses. You see, that chapter is all about Jacob and his experiences with his double father-in-law Laban. I say double because Jacob was a baller and married two of Laban’s daughters, because Jacob was a guy that took one look at monogamy and said “that crap is for Chuck Norris” and then punched it in the face with his bicep. And no, he wasn’t a Mormon. The problem for Jacob was, Laban didn’t like him. At all. So in order to marry Laban’s daughters, Jacob had to work for Laban for seven years per daughter. (Not worth it. – Kent) Anyway, there’re more drama to it, but basically Genesis 31 is all about Jacob’s mission to get hitched and Laban’s plans to make that process way, way too complicated.

In the end, Jacob took his two wives and vast amount of possessions and left without telling Laban. Laban figured this out when he was suddenly missing two daughters, one son-in-law, bunches of grandchildren, and some goats. He pursued and caught up with them and a confrontation ensued. Enter the phrase on that pendant up there. They set up a pile of rocks and said: “the Lord watch between you and me, when we are out of one another’s sight” (ESV). The thing is, the context isn’t romantic at all. Jacob and Laban wanted to kill each other, and the rocks were a boundary that neither of them could cross without the other bringing down the pain. So, the conversation might have gone something like this:

Laban: If you cheat on my daughters, I will kill you. But I won’t be around, so I’m setting these rocks up to symbolize the fact that God will be watching you, and he kills harder than I do.

Jacob: Right. These rocks also symbolize a boundary between us which we can’t cross to kill or maim each other.

So, we’re cool?

Laban: I wish I could hurt you but God is on your side and I don’t want to go to hell. (Note this as one of the ultimate utilizations of the “God card”)

Jacob: Good deal. Shalom!

Not quite the swooning snippet you were hoping it was, huh? So when you gave your girlfriend that necklace, you were really saying “if you cheat on me, God will see you. Also don’t cross this necklace to kill me.”

Love is beautiful! Thanks, James Avery.