Why this topic? Again, really? It’s not even close to February. I’m single, but I’m not desperate (but perhaps longing). So why this topic?
1. Recent relevant events: I went to a purse party recently (that’s what the boredom of having very few friends around for the summer will do to someone like me). The theme was Proverbs 31, which is the proverb that describes a “wife of noble character.” It got me thinking about love, marriage and godliness. I was also recently asked to play piano in a wedding that will happen next Saturday. The bride-to-be is my first friend to get married and I’m not gonna lie, it feels a bit strange. Processing the fact that she will be married is like re-processing what marriage is and what love means.
2. Human nature. We are created to be in relationship with other people. The love I’m thinking about, although it can be applied to marriage, should also be applied to every relationship.
Something you should know about me, if you don’t already, is that I am a music person. If I’m not listening to music, I’m playing it. And if I’m not playing it, I’m singing it. If I’m not singing it, I’m humming it. If I’m not humming it for some far-out, bizarre, reason, then I’m definitely hearing it in my head. So when the topic of love was on my brain and I listened to the song “For the Love of God,” by Andrew Peterson, it struck a chord with me (pun fully intended).
These lyrics are what struck me (but please read the rest too!):
“Now, love is not a feeling in your chest
It is bending down to wash another’s feet
It is faithful when the sun is in the west
And in the east
It can hurt you as it holds you
In its overwhelming flood
Till only the unshakeable is left
“This new command I give you,” He said,
“Love as I have loved”
So brother, love her better than yourself
And give her your heart
For the love of God
In the name of Jesus
The groom who gave his life
To love his bride.”
Mmmmm so good! Do I even need to say more? I want to love my future husband (Lord willing) because I love God, because Christ gave his life to love the church, and in the name of Jesus. I’m not even close to marriage, or even necessarily knowing what a fully functional dating relationship looks like, but I long for this. For a love rooted in Christ, for a love that is deeper than butterflies and is clearly faithful through Christ-like actions. I want a love that isn’t always easy, and that requires sacrifice and self-denial for the good of someone else.
And in the mean time, the beauty of this love is that it is for everyone. It makes a life-long marriage relationship even sweeter, but the command to love like Christ loved does not just direct me how to love my husband. It drives me (or should, anyway) in every relationship with every coupon-hoarding customer, pickup-driving road hog, illegal immigrant, sibling, beggar, friend, roommate, etc.
So now that that’s out in the open, why do I feel like I will have a few customers tonight who are hard to love? Lord, may I fully learn what it means to love as you have loved.