I spent a lot of time with married couples this weekend.
Some, on their wedding day, some on their honeymoon, and some had been married for 4+ years.
Everybody had stories to share, that were beautiful and unique and reflected God's own Love and Goodness. One such story even included rainbows on the day of the proposal, wedding, etc.
Anyway, the actual wedding that I went to on Friday night was absolutely beautiful. I know people say this about ALL weddings, as each one has their own aspects of beauty, but this one was different. It was simple, surprising, and the emotion was so raw and genuine I felt overwhelmed with tears of joy. It was such a reflection of God's passion for His bride, the church, you and me, and I could feel that presence in the room during the ceremony. During the Homily, one of the pastors talked about this, and how there is a sacrificing of oneself for the highest good of their husband/wife.
That Love is am amazing, wonderful thing but it costs, everything.
Just as it cost Jesus everything when he laid down his life for his bride, because she is worth dying for.
You're worth dying for.
If you're a woman who is dating someone right now, what kind of man is he? Does he demonstrate that he's the kind of man that would die for you?
What is his posture toward the world? Does he serve, or is he waiting to be served?
Does he believe that he's owed something? That he's been shortchanged, that he's gotten the short end of the stick, that life owes him something?
Or is he out to see what he can give?
Does he see himself as being here to make the world a better place?
Does he have liquid Agape running through his veins?
What does he expect of you? Does he want all of you without his having to give all of him? Can you tell him anything? Is he safe? Can he be trusted?
Can you open up to him, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, knowing that he will protect, not exploit that vulnerability?
Are you opening up like a flower?
(taken and SLIGHTLY adapted from Rob Bell's book "Sex God")
because you're worth dying for.
At this wedding on friday around sunset, they read a beautiful responsive reading about Love from Thomas A Kempis' "The Imitation of Christ". It was one of the most passion-filled, accurate and inspiring pieces I've ever read about Love and I want to be saturated with it, cultivate and am continuing challenge myself to live it out in my own relationships.
Here is the responsive reading:
A wonderful thing is love. A mighty good indeed, for love alone makes every burden light, and endures with calmness all the roughness of the world. For it bears a burden without being burdened, and makes all that is bitter sweet and delicious. Love insists on being free, and a stranger to all worldly affections, lest its inward sight should be hindered, lest it should be held back by temporal misfortune.
Enlarge my heart with love, that I may learn to see how sweet it is to love and be consumed by love.
Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing loftier, nothing wilder, nothing pleasanter, nothing richer or better, in heaven or on earth, because love is born of God, and can find its rest in God alone, above all created things.
Love knows no bounds but burns with boundless fervor.
Love feels no burden, counts no cost; longs to do even more than it is able for, and never pleads impossibility. Love is always watchful: though it sleeps it does not wish to sleep; though hard pressed it feels no constraint: though frightened it is not overwhelmed. But, like the living flame of a burning torch, it points upward, and passed unharmed through everything in its way.
Let me be possessed by love, let me rise above myself in an ecstasy of love.
Let me love thee far more than myself, and myself only for Thee.
Love is active, sincere, dutiful, pleasant, and delightful; strong, patient, faithful, prudent, steadfast, courageous and free from all self-seeking. Love is careful, humble, and sturdy; not weak or giddy or taken up with trifles. Love is sober, chaste, calm and guarded in every feeling. The loving soul will gladly embrace for the sake of the Beloved all that is hard and bitter, and will not turn away from Him on account of any difficulty that may stand in the way.
Wherever Thou, o Lord God, all-holy lover of my soul, drawest near to me, my whole being is filled with joy!