“Tis the season!” Not that season, it’s wedding season and I have been invited to join two friends in matrimony this weekend. Being a late starter to the ministry game, this will be only the third marriage ceremony I have presided over. Though the sample size is small, and the others have been so nice, this weekend’s celebration rings closest to my heart.
The groom and I have been friends for nearly thirty years and I have known his intended for the last ten of those. Knowing this couple well allows me to see the power of love at work as it molds two into one. As they have shared their life with me, I can witness to the tender care God provides. They are deeply in love, which after all is what this marriage thing is supposed to be based on.
Speaking of love, they have selected the ‘Love Section’ of 1 Corinthians 13 to be read during their ceremony. This is a most popular portion of Scripture to be read at these happy times, and I’ll gladly share these words with all present once again.
Image courtesy of Bing images
The Apostle Paul’s letter describes God’s perfect love. His love. That’s the only perfect love I know of. I make this claim based of the way the word ‘always’ is used in describing love. Only when speaking of God is the word ‘always’ truly what it says it is. Saying we will always do/be/say just isn’t accurate. We aren’t perfect, God is. When He says always, it is always!
If, however, any of us, this weekend’s bride and groom included, aspire to complete this list of descriptions of what love is perfectly, we are going to be disappointed. Seeking perfection in the human realm is a fool’s game. Looking for perfection in the another often prevents us from examining ourselves with a more critical eye. My preference is normally for the easier softer way; in this case being critical/judging another instead of making changes in my own behavior/thought process to more readily accommodate the needs of someone else.
So, what is love? After all, it is what we’ll be celebrating tomorrow. Simply put, love is taking the example of God’s perfect love and incorporating it into the very fabric of our everyday life. I can boil that down to doing this: Every chance you get, put the another’s feelings, thoughts desires at least on a par with your own. Personal or secret agendas do not hold up well when the desire of your heart is to fulfill the desires of your partner’s heart! That’s what love is. We accomplish this, with many goofs along the way, by being patient. By being kind. By not being rude or self-seeking. We are loving at our best when we make the effort to not get angered easily. We are maturing in love when we no longer keep a scorecard of ‘wrongs’ done against us. When we love truth, there is no room for the evil of lies. When we live in trust, when we keep our hearts and minds filled with the hope that God gives us. By loving others in this way, we get ever so closer to the heart of God, which is love.
Thanks for reading,