Saturday, February 14, 2004

This Thing Called Love

Here it is February, the month of love. The florists and the candy makers and the jewelers will make lots of money this month. Many people try to express how much they love another person by doing something special on the 14th of February. I am not sure when we as a nation started this tradition, but I think it’s nice, not the commercial part of it, but rather the expression of love part.

To hear the words “I Love You” with real heart expression means a lot to the person hearing those words. Pallie Sue and I have been in love for forty years. Within a few days now we will have been married thirty-nine of those years. We have learned to express our love to each other lots of ways and lots of times. Our love for each other has grown more precious each and every day. We have learned that it takes more than one day of the year, that it is more than gifts, or words once in as while, but rather that it is a joy to share with each other every day in various ways.

There are lots of words that could describe why our marriage has been blessed by God, but let me share just three of many with you this time. These words also show a close relationship with Christ our Lord. These words are: commitment, communication, and consideration. Since I will be using these words for the message this Sunday, I won’t dump the whole wagon load on you at this time but rather give you a “kiss” version of them.

Pallie Sue and I made a commitment to each other the day we became engaged. Then we continued our commitment the day we were married. Our commitment was the words “ Will you take this person to be wedded to, to live together in holy matrimony? Will you love each other, comfort each other, honor each other, keep each other, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, as long as you both shall live?” We both said, “I do!” We have been true to that commitment all these years.

Also we both made a commitment to Christ when we took Him as our personal Savior. He has never failed us and we do our best to keep our commitment to Him. It’s been a beautiful walk together.

Then the word communication came to mind. In order to have a good marriage a couple must have clear communication with each other. Pallie Sue and I have always tried to have clear communication with each other. If a couple has a clear understanding, and they are on the same page, things work better. It seems kind of strange that sometime we even know what the other is thinking. I guess when you have clear communication that happens sometimes. Do any of you other couples ever know what the other is thinking?

Apply this to your spiritual walk with Christ. How happy we are when we have clear communication with Him. Let’s just say this about our relationship with Christ. If you don’t have clear communication with Him it isn’t His fault.

The last word that applies here is consideration. A relationship works the best when there is consideration towards each other. If I do certain things how will it make my wife feel? If I don’t call when I’m late, what will my thoughtlessness do to my companion? To take into consideration my partner will build a strong relationship.

In my Christian life, to take Christ into consideration will also build a strong relationship with Him. My thoughts and my actions must take Christ into consideration.

The world we live in has lost the real meaning of this thing we call love. At the school where I work, when I have to turn in a child for bad conduct, I often hear the words, “You don’t understand. This child has a bad home life. This child needs lots of love because they don’t get much at home.” So many homes are so dysfunctional that there is very little love in them today.
As I sit here writing, I am so happy that I can’t think of one of this family’s homes where there isn’t lots and lots of love. I can’t think of one child in this family that an outside source has to say, “Give this child lots of love because they don’t get much at home.” I also think that fact is because of Christ. Thank God for good Christian homes this family has for our children to be raise in. It doesn’t take a village to raise a child, but rather a good Christian home.

Let’s continue to show this world what real love is. Paul’s writing in I Corinthians 13 said:
“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.” (The Message)