I thought back to the summer of 1981 when I was a young bride walking down the aisle to meet my husband. While I was aware of friends and family, my attention was not on them. I only had eyes for my beloved.
My husband and I were poor college students when we married. We had so few possessions that we were able to move all of our furniture and worldly possessions in a very small U-Haul trailer. We didn't even have a place to live until two days before we packed up our things and headed down to Tennessee to finish up our last year of college. We didn't even have jobs.
Funny, we didn't care about any of that. People often scoff at the romantic idea of "love being enough" but do you know what? It was and it still is. My husband and I did not marry one another because of what we could get from one another. We married each other simply because we loved one another and wanted to be together for the rest of our lives. Rather than asking ourselves what we could get from the other, we asked ourselves the question, "What can I give to this person I love so much?" Having nothing really, we gave one another our most valuable possession... ourselves.
Our marriage has lasted for nearly 33 years. When we vowed to be together for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health we meant it for we have certainly experienced those things. Yet despite all of that, the fire of those tough times has not broken us apart; it has melded us together and thus made us stronger than ever.
Now, imagine along with me, another bride. The groom stands at the front of the church, eagerly awaiting his bride. As she comes down the aisle, she is thinking about the groom's fine position, his bank account, his beautiful and luxurious home, the social status she is going to obtain when she marries him, her rich and beautiful wedding gifts and so forth. In reality, this bride does not really love the groom for her thoughts are not on him or how she can love and bless him. They are simply on herself. We call this egocentric or self-love.
Do we really understand that this is exactly what God did for us? Jesus Christ gave Himself for us simply because He loves us. That's it. There was no, "I will love you only if you love me back." or "I will only love you if you do something for me in return."Do we really understand that this is exactly what God did for us? Jesus Christ gave Himself for us simply because He loves us. That's it. There was no, "I will love you only if you love me back." or "I will only love you if you do something for me in return." We call this unconditional love.
In your own marriage, which sort of love would you prefer? Love like that of the first bride or the second? When it comes to your relationship with God, who are you most like?
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cristinavalencia/2958175331/
Sometimes I wonder if people really knows what "love" really is. The sacrifice and giving because you want to not because you feel you have to. I think everyone should study and embed in their hearts what God's word says about "love" before they decide to marry . They might just save themselves a great deal of heartache later.