Love and Cherish

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13.

One wedding ceremony that I use often has the vow, “You must promise to love, to honor and cherish….” After the vows I state, “Then, you are each given to the other. In times of happiness and in times of sorrow; in times of plenty and in times of poverty; in times of sickness and in times of well being; to love and enjoy till death shall separate you.” Some couples say those vows and listen to the words with great reverence. Others you can tell they only seem to be words to them. When I said my wedding vows, I meant them and Jeanie meant them. The preacher who married us later said that he had two sets of vows and had us say them both because we looked so young (We were both 19 years old.). I think he was right we needed both sets of vows. While I was in the hospital, I was blessed to see my wife live out those vows. Certainly, she demonstrated many times over that she loved and cherished me even in a time of sickness. I marveled at whom this woman was that was always there no matter what day after day and night after night. Since we have been home we have found out that she has Graves Disease which is an over active thyroid. It causes many different problems including fatigue. Even though she was not feeling well herself she was there with me day and night. I now have a much better understanding of loving and cherishing.

Love. Christian, agape love, was a concept not often practiced in the world of the early church especially outside of the Christian community. Paul gives us the definition of Christian love in 1 Corinthians 13. This kind of love is not just an emotional or physical love it soars far beyond that. To love someone with Christian love is a love the world finds hard to understand. When this kind of love is practiced, it points those who see it to Christ. Why? Because it is only through the power of God that we can love in that way. I always include in the marriage ceremony the importance of keeping Christ in the center of their lives because then they will have more love for each other. It is a concept that is true whether in a marriage, in the church, or in the community. If we have Christ in the center of our lives, directing, controlling, and empowering it will be so much easier to love, as Christ would have us to love.

Is there someone close to you that is hard to love? You just need more Jesus in the middle of your life. They just need more Jesus in the middle of their life and if you demonstrate Christian love by the way you live it may be that they will see Jesus is what they need.

Husbands love your wives and cherish them. Wives love your husbands and cherish them. The more you keep Christ in the center of your lives the more love you will have for each other.

(To have a successful marriage you need Jesus in the middle of it.)

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