Many of our students/former students are getting married this summer. This is a brief meditation I wrote for a wedding card for one of them. It's far from complete, but my goal with our young folk is to hold before them the reality of commitment. The butterflies and fireworks are great fun, but you won't live there much, as any married folk can attest. So it is important to be alerted to love as action instead of love as feeling.
Love is commitment shown through sacrificial actions which benefit the beloved, not emotion based on how the other meets my needs and fulfills my desires.
As you enter this new state of life, it may seem that the butterflies and fireworks will last forever and carry you through whatever may come. Even though you know that this is not actually the case, the reality of day-to-day life is yet to come, that reality in which you will learn what love really is.
One day, for whatever reason, you will find yourself thinking, who is this person? Why did I marry him or her? And in that moment, you are given a choice – to act on feelings or to act on faith.
Love has nothing to do, ultimately, with feelings. Feelings, rather, grow out of love, which is a choice we make, embodied in our actions.
When he has hurt you by words or deeds, will you make his favorite supper (that dish you hate!) and smile as you serve it? When she has failed to understand your needs, will you wash the dishes and do the laundry just because she is tired and anxious? These will be the kinds of actions that ground your love in reality and bring it to the depth God intends for it to reach.
May the Lord bless you as you learn to walk in His ways, and may your marriage be a blessing to all around you, drawing others to the One who makes it sweet and strong.
Love . . .
is patient and kind;
does not envy or boast;
is not arrogant or rude;
does not insist on its own way;
is not irritable or resentful;
does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth;
bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Greater love has no man than this, that he lays down his life for his friends. - John 15:13
We love because he first loved us. - I John 4:19
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. - Ephesians 5:1-2
Many waters cannot quench love. - Song of Songs 8:7