When I got Married
I wonder how many of us, remember our wedding day? Do you remember the place you were married and the time and maybe how late she was that day? If you were married in a church, do you remember the songs that were sung or the music she walked into? Do you remember anything the minister said or remember the bible passage used by the minister at your wedding? If you are like me, you probably vaguely remember being there and maybe the colour of your suit, but probably very few other details about the day!
I Can Guess One Thing That Happened.
So, let me tell you what probably happened. I reckon I can guess the bible passage that was used because in my life I’ve married about 40 women! In case you think that’s an exaggeration, I spent many years as a religious celebrant. So, I’m sure for many of us (and the 40 women I mentioned), the bible passage that was read was 1 Corinthians 13. It’s a famous passage used throughout the world at weddings because it’s about real love. And since weddings are about love it’s the one that usually has a place in a wedding. The problem is, it’s not exactly about what you think of when you hear the word “love.” It’s got nothing to do with those gooey feeling that well up inside you when you’re overcome by the romance of the situation. So what is it about?
In 1965 Jackie DeShannon told us “What the world needs now is love, sweet love”. Well, the author’s thesis is pretty much what that song is about – that you need more love in your life, but he adds another scary level, he says your life is absolutely wasted if you don’t show love to others. Now that’s a challenge for most of us because we are confused in our understanding of what love is. Our society’s definition seems to be miles from what this author describes. He says love is more important than everything else. Here’s the first three verses in case you have forgotten them…
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
What is He Talking About?
According to the author, no matter how much I know – or how much great wisdom I speak, no matter if I utter incredible mysteries that wow the masses –if I am not motivated by love, I might as well be just honking my horn in bumper to bumper traffic. So everything I say should be motivated by love.
Then he adds no matter what I can do – healing, miracles, whatever – without love it is meaningless. Everything I do should be motivated by love. That’s a bit of a challenge to me!
And this one really kills me – no matter how much I give away – I can give more away than Bill Gates and even give up my life – but if I am not doing it in love, I don’t get any credit for it!
Where Is The Romance?
What kind of love is this? Where are the beautiful eyes and the flowing hair and the Chanel number 5 that comes to mind when I think of love? This seems to take on a whole new meaning and is just a bit sinister! He seems to say that love is so important your whole world means nothing without it! Maybe that’s why so many people feel so lost today.
So after getting your attention by speaking about the importance of his subject, the author has two lists – one what love is and another what it is not.
What We Must Do.
There are eight things love is: Patient, Kind, Truthful, Protecting, Trusting, Hopeful, Persevering, Never failing. There are times I meet some of those criteria but many times I don’t. I can be patient but not at the main roads department, I am kind – often at least to the cat. I usually tell the truth – though Dan Ariely a researcher on this subject from Duke University would disagree (Google his book “The honest truth about dishonesty”). I do protect my family from elephants and tigers – though I haven’t seen too many round here lately, so it must be working. I am hopeful of being all the things on this list someday and will persevere till I make it (as long as it’s not too hard!) So, I do know how to be loving but can’t seem to manage it all the time.
What We Should Avoid.
Then the author tells us there are eight things love is not: Envious, Boasting, Proud, Rude, Self-seeking, Angry, holding grudges, delighting in evil. This list is a whole lot easier for me! I know how to be rude and self seeking and angry and hold grudges. I seem to have an inbuilt tendency towards the negative list. These things are just easier for all of us! Unfortunately when we do these things, we not only don’t get any credit but the world doesn’t get any better either.
What About Sex?
Now curiously, there is not one mention of the thing that our society calls love – sex. And its not because sex is sinful! The bible says God invented it and there is a whole book in the bible about it – read Song of Songs sometime, but you will probably need help to decode the euphemisms used, since it was written over 2500 years ago. But it really is about sex! But the problem is, sex doesn’t cover what love is really about. At best, it’s only a part of the meaning and then only sometimes.
So This Week…
So how loving are you? It seems to be VERY important and will determine how well you survive the future. If nothing else this list of dos and don’ts is a challenge to me to be more loving and more patient and more kind and more of all those things I know are good. So maybe this week we should choose something from the “do” list and decide to see if I can do it every day, then choose something from the “don’t do” list and see if I can make it through a whole week not doing it.
After all “what the world needs now is love, sweet love. Thats the only thing that there’s just too little of.”