This month, the Christian Writer’s Blog chain is covering the subject of love. For me, this is a little case of unfortunate timing, since just last month I wrote a reasonably in depth study of what the Bible has to say about love (read it here) as part of my series on the fruit of the spirit. Maybe I should have waited. I had to stop and think, what more is there to say? So I thought I might look a little into one aspect of love that I didn’t cover much in my previous article – the romantic intimate love in marriage.
It seems fitting that we are writing about love in the month of February – since during this month, many people celebrate ‘Valentine’s Day’ (which incidentally is going to be my seventh wedding anniversary). I’m going to share a little of what God has to say about marriage love, and also share some of my own love story.
When I was in high school, I really had no interest in relationships like the other kids did. I was much too focussed on computers and science fiction. I though all this fussing over girls was rather silly. As I headed toward my late teens and into my twenties I had a newfound respect for romantic relationships, but was certain they were not to be a part of my life. My destiny was to be single – which was fine. As time went on I began to doubt the fact that I was immune to the need for romantic love in my life – but was still absolutely convinced that no female could possibly find me attractive – let alone choose me as the one male in all the world to spend her life with.
Then I met Linda and some crazy miracle happened. At the age of 24 I had my first girlfriend, who became my fiance, and then my wife. There were a few challenges to overcome. We lived in different states, so there were geographical concerns, but it all worked out.
I remember the lead-up to my wedding. I put a lot of thought into the groom’s speech. Our wedding reception would be one of the few times I would ever be standing in front of a group of people, with their attention on what I was saying, and I wanted to make my speech count. I wanted to honour my family and close friends, and with un-characteristic boldness I wanted to share about the love of Jesus. A particlar verse was very much on my heart at that time.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radint church, without stain or wrinkles or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
As I spoke I explained how this verse providede me the example to follow – and it was a heavy assignment. I had to put my wife first. I had to be willing to die for her – both literally and metaphorically. Could I love my wife to way Jesus loved me? I was sure gonna try!
This highlights an important thing about love. Love is not about what I can get (that’s lust). Love is about what I can give. Love says I need to put the needs of another person above my own needs. Love needs to be self-less. As I reflect on all of ths I am very much aware that I haven’t alway succeded. Sometimes I have failed miserably, but the story is not over yet.
Now here’s the cool part. When we are in a marriage – we are focusing on loving and caring for the needs of another person – but that person is in turn focussed on loving us and caring for our needs. When this is taking place something beautiful happens. You realise that you don’t have to even worry about yourself because the one that you love is loving you back. No marriage is perfect and sometimes reality doesn’t reflect this ideal but it is something every married man and woman should strive for. Marriage is beautiful. Marriage rocks! If it looks like I am using ‘romantic love’ and ‘marriage’ as synonyms that’s probably because that is how I see it. The two are inseperable; but don’t get me wrong, the same principles from marriage can and should be applied to non-romantic love as well. Romantic love is just one picture of God’s love for us. There are many others, such as the love between parent and child, the love between two friends, and even the love for a stranger.
Follow The Chain
- 3rd Feb: Chris Henderson, TheWriteChris
- 4th Feb: Tracy Krauss, Expression Express
- 5th Feb: Scott Fields, Dead Man Writing
- 6th Feb: Keith Wallis, wordsculptures
- 7th Feb: Traci Bonney, Tracings
- 8th Feb: Chris Perdue, The Bible Stop (part one)
- 9th Feb: Adam Collings, The Collings Zone <– You Are Here
- 10th Feb: Chris Perdue, The Bible Stop (part 2)
- 11th Feb: Naomi Musch, Write Reason
- 12th Feb: Lynn Mosher, Heading Home
- 13th Feb: Cindee Snider Re, Breathe Deeply
- 14th Feb: Liberty Speidel, Word Wanderings
- 15th Feb: Ruth Rockafield, Power of the Pen
- 16th Feb: Victor Travison, Lightwalker’s View
- 17th Feb: Debra Ann Elliott, Writing with Debra
- 18th Feb: Sheila Hollinghead,Clearing Skies
- 19th Feb: Sarah Grace, Write-Minded
- 20th Feb: Edward Lewis, Sowing the Seeds
- 21st Feb: Linda Yezak, 777 Peppermint Place
- 23rd Feb: Nona King, Word Obsession
- 25th Feb: Chris Depew, The Beulah Land Blog
- 28th Feb: Marti Smith, Telling Secrets