I tend to be more practical than romantic. Even though I’ve been known to daydream, my dreams look more like realistic plans than fantasies. Still, there is something about being invited to and attending a wedding that brings to the surface every ounce of romance that might usually be buried down deep inside my heart. I love weddings.
Weddings are, in my opinion, the very best reason to throw a big party. Two people making that great commitment to each other is my favorite thing to celebrate. Weddings are a wonderful reason to pick out a gift and wrap it thoughtfully with satin ribbon, to choose a pretty dress to wear, and to make sure I have a babysitter. I love the details and the music, the way these things give you a greater glimpse into who this couple is. I love listening to the officiant and the vows, soaking it in and trying to remember what was said at my own wedding.
My good friend Kyle officiated the wedding of two of his friends earlier this year and was telling me about what it was like to be the one with the big speaking part. He took a long time to prepare; he didn’t want to stand there with a bunch of cliches and platitudes. He wanted to give them a very special and memorable ceremony. Still, he shared with me, as much as he tried to avoid reading the classic scriptures on love from 1 Corinthians chapter 13, he just couldn’t ignore them. I begged him to share with me what he said to them, and he did.
Now, I’m inviting you to daydream with me that you are attending Chris and Tina’s wedding. Let’s get dressed up, smile and walk in confidently to find a seat. I’ve never met them, so you and I will be secret wedding crashers together and listen in on their ceremony. I won’t tell if you won’t. Shhh… Kyle has just welcomed everyone. He’s about to share his wedding message…
As I prepared for today and as Chris and Tina and I discussed what I might say, I was determined not to use the common wedding scriptures. Not because they are not true, but because they are so typical that they can sometimes become diluted. Yet as I was preparing, I couldn’t help but to be deeply impacted by 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 as I read through it time and time again. Impacted so much so that I had to ask for my wife’s forgiveness because it brought to light some areas that I had forgotten about. The great thing about this scripture is it doesn’t leave room for us to point fingers at the husband or wife. We can’t argue about which comes first or whose responsibility is more important. This is about both of you. And it is something that we all should strive to attain or complete. It is very simple that this is your duty or challenge to each other. It says:
“Love is patient, love is kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of wrong. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
We have all heard it before. But let me challenge you to look at it a little differently. As I studied this scripture, a couple of things stood out to me. There is nothing about love as described here that is emotional. Yet many of the counterparts to love are very emotionally based. Impatience, anger, jealousy, pride, quitting, faithlessness, hopelessness. Every point of this scripture is a decision point. We have natural emotional responses that are born in our sin nature, but the choice to love consumes our emotional response. The choice to love, although admittedly, can be very difficult to make in a time of undoubted self righteousness, is always the right choice. Your marriage will be developed largely out of decisions of love and typically not out of emotional responses. Choose carefully the choices you make at all times. Always choose love.
The choice to love is always the right choice.
Always choose love.
Isn’t that beautiful? Sitting here clutching my purse on my lap, wearing my pretty dress, I see that I do not always choose love. Sometimes, in fact, I choose impatience or rudeness. Sometimes I do demand my own way and get irritable. Sometimes I mull over the things I think my husband has done wrong and I hold it against him even if I don’t tell him about it. Wow, it seems like I’ve got a long way to go to really love well according to Kyle’s message and the Bible. Maybe you do, too? I’m sure glad we’re sitting here next to each other. Let’s pause this wedding daydream and ponder this way to love for today. It is vital for our marriages that we begin to understand love in a way that is not based on emotion, but instead, a choice. Tomorrow we’ll go back to daydreaming and listen to the rest of what Kyle shared with Chris and Tina.
Image Credit: Amy Walton Photography
You are reading Day 10 in our 31 Days of Loving on Purpose series.
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