I was asked to officiate a wedding ceremony for a couple I had never met. I have only done a couple of ceremonies and prefer to know the couple. So, the dilemma began. What do I say to a couple I have never met?
The couple wanted a brief ceremony. I reminded them that 20 minutes is brief, and that they still want it to be memorable. The pieces of the ceremony started coming together. Yes, sand. No, songs. They finally landed on this scripture and God gave me a few brief words to share on loving deeply.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.( I Corinthians 13:4-8 MSG).
“As this scripture says love is hard. It takes intention and a deep level of trust. It challenges us to be more than we imagined. To love deeply means a willingness to be vulnerable with each other, to share the parts of yourselves that you like the least knowing your spouse will hold them with care.
Loving deeply means offering the grace, the benefit of the doubt and forgiveness first. It is a willingness to take those moments of misunderstanding and disagreement and pull closer to the other, listening with great intent to hear and understand.
Loving deeply is staying thankful for the other in all times, difficult and easy. Both are a gift that help us grow.
And, yes, loving deeply means celebrating with each other as we are today and cheering each other on, along with appreciating the quiet ordinary moments of day-to-day life.
At times, it will be hard, so choose to always grow together. But from someone who’s about to hit the 20 year mark, it’s the best adventure of your life.”
The message became a thoughtful reminder to me of what love is, how God loves us, and how we are to love one another. I wish I had fully understood it twenty years ago. Love is a gift that I need to continue to embrace and share.
How are you at loving deeply? How has love changed you? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.