October 12, 2021
The other day, it hit me… our 28th wedding anniversary is just a few short weeks away… WOW!
These days, 28 years is kind of a long time, and boy, sometimes I do mean looooong! OK, OK… please understand, that was a joke. I love my husband with all of my heart, soul and mind… always have… always will, but the truth of the matter is if you’ve been married or are married there are times it is pure bliss and times it is not. And, guess what? I am VERY MUCH to blame for MANY of those looooong days! Shocking, I know. That said, let’s move on and connect all the dots in the end, shall we?
I have the sweetest little calendar I refer to daily for Godly inspiration. It gives short, inspirational quotes or scriptures with some space to write your thoughts. Today’s itty-bitty was “Faith, Hope, Love”, three little words we not only use all the time, but three little words that also (when you really think about them) pack quite a punch! Let’s take a closer look…
“Faith, Hope, Love” Upon closer inspection, we find these words come to us from the Apostle Paul as he wrote them in 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 all the way back in 55 AD. Today, I like to refer to this chapter in the Bible as the “Wedding Chapter”. Let me explain. This entire chapter was read by our Aunt Jeanne during our wedding ceremony at Sacred Heart Catholic Church back in 1993. These scriptures are very common to hear at a wedding in this denomination. This chapter along with some others was suggested for our use by the priest who presided over our wedding. Ultimately, this is the set of scriptures we chose. Can I admit something? Back then, we really did not put much thought into it. In fact, verse 1 made all of us, well, giggle.
1 Corinthians 13:1 (CSB)
“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.“
What??? We just couldn't comprehend it. I think when we first read those words, we ignorantly thought of “The Gong Show” (remember that?), a circus clown or that wind-up toy monkey that clanged cymbals. Please, no offense to those of you who play either the gong or the cymbals. I know how valuable the addition of those instruments is to any musical accompaniment. I guess my point is, at first reading of that scripture, it just didn’t seem very “wedding-like” to any of us. But, at the end of the day, it was the “best of the bunch” offered to us and the one we chose. Man, do these Words mean so much more to me now. God knew.
I did not have a relationship with Jesus then. I loved Him very much and “kinda” knew Him; it just wasn’t at the level that is truly possible and certainly not at the level God desires for us. At that time, I rarely attended church, barely opened a Bible (although I knew it to be true) let alone knew any scripture. Boy, what God had in store for me! Anyway, once we got over verse 1 and got to a place of a little more sincerity, we truly loved the reading of our “Wedding Chapter”. Maybe you’ll recognize it if you read it in its entirety. Here’s a link to 1 Corinthians 13 (Christian Standard Bible version).
So, with 28 years of marriage and about 25 years of a TRUE relationship with Jesus Christ under my belt, here’s what at least some of the “Wedding Chapter” means to me and my marriage now.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3: (CSB)
“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.”
As I totally disregarded the meaning of this scripture 28 years ago, it speaks so much to me and especially my marriage now. How? Well, we can do all kinds of “things” in our marriage (in our lives, really), right? We can talk sweetly to each other and even about God. We can figure out problems and gain knowledge in doing so. We can even have strong faith, give to the poor, sacrifice ourselves and give our possessions away, but if all of these things are done with selfish motivation, in other words, without love (and this love, my friends, stems from The Love of Jesus Christ), then we gain nothing… are nothing. That is a lot to think about. Let’s go on…
1 Corinthians 13: 4-5, 7-8 (CSB)
“Love is patient; love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude,
is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love… bears all
things, believes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
If you didn’t immediately recognize this chapter before… I bet you do now!
As I reread these scriptures today, they are a reminder; I am reminded of my vows. I am reminded of my commitment. I am reminded of how God brought the two of us together to become one. These scriptures are also a conviction and a call to action! So, I ask God right now to help me. Help me, Lord, to show this love for my husband, Tom, everyday… even when I don't feel like it; especially when I don't feel like it. I ask Him to forgive me for the times I do not and have not shown this selfless, unconditional love toward him. I ask Him to bless my marriage now with the same blessing Aunt Jeanne read over us that day. She is no longer with us, and we miss her. Life is precious and short.
We all know John Lennon wrote the lyrics to one of the most beloved Beatles songs ever, “All You Need is Love”. Well, MANY years earlier, through the Apostle Paul, God wrote this…
“Now these three remain: faith hope and love - but the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 (CSB)
Maybe, just maybe, this is where Mr. Lennon got his inspiration. You never know.
Blessings and Stay Salty!
“Grace Daily” calendar from Thimblepress.com