Someone once wrote, “Love isn’t love til you give it away.”
Love. A myriad of works of literature, be it poems, plays, essays or novels, has been written on the subject of love.
It is the theme of countless musical lyrics and the angst of many a late night discussion. I’m pretty sure that there are close to 700 references to love in my guidebook for life — God’s Holy Word, the Bible.
In the English language, we only have one word for this emotion, which is such a shame because there are so many manifestations of love. But before I digress from the idea swirling around in my mind, today I want to share thoughts on romantic love and weddings.
I haven’t read much Shakespeare since a class on his works way back in college, but one line from his play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” found a permanent little niche in my brain. “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind….” There’s more to the line, but that’s the part I remember.
When I think of romantic love, this quote personifies true love to me. True love is as deep as the fathoms of the ocean and is vastly different than infatuation, which is like the shallow edge of the shoreline, where the waves rush in and knock you flat on your can, then just as quickly rush back out and leave you sitting in a pile of quickly shifting sand.
True love takes time. True love involves mind and soul, not just body. True love is precious, something to be revered and guarded and cherished. And true love lasts for a lifetime.
It’s been my privilege to attend a couple of weddings this past year, one just yesterday. My son was a groomsman in the first and best man in the recent one. I marvel that both of these grooms, close friends of my son, are now mature men, with college degrees in hand, careers already initiated, goals planned, and now each has chosen a lovely partner for life, a wife.
Both of these young men have lounged in my family room over the years, engrossed in video games; watched tons of movies on our TV; played games with our family, and slept on our couch. The groom in yesterday’s wedding has been a part of our lives for quite some time; he’s like another member of our family.
In my son’s best man toast, he even joked that the two of them have been like twins. My son and the groom have shared a friendship since 7th grade. They’ve gone to school together, played sports together, celebrated and commiserated with each other, and were college roommates.
So it was with great happiness my husband and I watched this particular young man exchange his wedding vows with his beautiful bride yesterday. Wedding celebrations are naturally joyful. I’ve attended several weddings in my day, but never have I witnessed more meaningful nuptials than these last two ceremonies.
What made both of these weddings so very special was that both young couples are believers in Christ and they made their relationship with Him a vital and integral part of their wedding service. Jesus Christ was definitely at the center of these two weddings.
Yesterday, it seemed like Jesus was standing in the lovely, flower bedecked gazebo with the bride and groom, nodding His head in approval, exuding His love to these beautiful children of His, and showering His blessings on their union.
And that made an amazing difference. The marriage rituals were sacred; it wasn’t just two young people repeating words, saying “yeah, yeah, I do” so they could run off to live together legally.
Amid overcast skies and even a rain shower, love radiated like sunbeams from these two betrothed. I am positively convinced the two of them are experiencing true love, the kind of love that looks not just with the eyes, but with the mind and soul.
There’s a reason a wedding is called holy matrimony. God created marriage. Jesus told us in the book of Mark, chapter 10: “But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
He desires that we put Him at the very center of this sacred relationship. Wise married couples do just that.
So I don’t just offer words of congratulations to this special newlywed couple, I offer prayers of thanksgiving because they know Jesus personally, prayers of hope that they continue to put Him first, and prayers of blessing for love that lasts a lifetime.
Yoked in holy matrimony with a fellow believer in Christ, Jesus at the center of that relationship, and love that lasts for a lifetime — that’s my prayer for my own children as well. And that’s the glory of love. ♥