"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have 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 do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13
Matthew and I celebrated our one year anniversary about a week and a half ago and I was reflecting on these verses that were read at our wedding ceremony. They have always spoken to me and challenged me and I have struggled to live them out in my daily life for as long as I can remember. And yet Love is not just an action, it is a Person, and I must step back and allow the Love that is Christ overflow from myself rather than trying to love on my own. I cannot love, I am a selfish being and love is an unselfish act and attitude. Only through Christ living in and through me will love be displayed through my life. This love will cast out fear (1 John 4:18), it is a safe haven, it is home. What a beautiful place to call home, what a wonderful attitude to rest in, to be found surrounded in this Love. And yet to live out love is hard. It means putting aside my selfish heart that rears its ugly head and giving of myself unconditionally for another, for my husband.
I have learned so much about myself over the past year. Living with another person really brings to light your selfish side and your many failings that you might have been able to ignore and hide before. Matthew has taught me so much about myself, he has opened my eyes to areas of sin in my life and through God's grace I am giving them over to my Savior. Marriage has brought me closer to the Lord, through the struggles and joys I have come to know Matthew and my Savior more deeply...it has been a truly beautiful experience. It is hard, it stretches and molds, it breaks and rebuilds, it sheds light on places that you didn't even know needed light and then you are faced with a choice. Will I let God mold me, rebuild me? Will I let Him use my marriage to teach me about Himself? Will I let Him chisel away even when it hurts and it's hard? Will I seek Him above all else and rest in His provision or will I expect Matthew to fulfill every need knowing that in doing so I am setting him up for failure because only God can fulfill every desire and every need of my heart? Matthew is my husband, he is not and can never be my god. Matthew is the man the Lord designed for me, created for me, we are one. And yet without Christ at the center and permeating every aspect of our marriage we are nothing, we are nothing without Christ. He is what holds us together, what draws us closer to one another, He is what we are to seek above anything and anyone else. He is our Guiding Light, our Provider, our Comforter. He is our LORD, our life, He is Jehovah.
This is a song that I have heard several times over the years, but this past weekend was the first time that I've heard it since we got married so I thought I would share it with you. It is a duet by Newsong & Natalie Grant, When God Made You.
Happy Valentine's Day my darling husband. I love you so much!