Over the past week my wife Christie and I took the family to Perth for a family wedding. Christie was the Matron of Honour, our girls were flower girls; my son and I watched on!
The ceremony was a civil service with the legal aspects required to solemnise marriage completed in a short amount of time. To my ears, the mention of God in the vows or preamble was missing, although my father in law was invited to say a prayer. As a passionate Christian he prayed a beautiful blessing on the soon to be married couple.
The day progressed and we found ourselves enjoying the festive celebrations. As part of the role of being Matron of Honour, my wife Christie had the opportunity to say a speech. She embraced it with gusto and spoke with eloquent passion! Christie drew upon a passage that we may often hear at a wedding, a passage found in 1 Corinthians 13. She read these words,
We spoke about how she could explain these words to an audience of whom many did not have a faith in Jesus. The result was to phrase it such, ‘Love is a doing word. You choose to love.’
You choose to love.
What a beautiful yet confronting idea. When you choose to love, you choose to overlook offence, you choose to be grateful, and you choose to put others before yourself. You choose to embrace instead of holding a grudge. You choose to be a person of peace instead of fighting to be right, for being right’s sake. You choose to remain faithful and loyal to that friend, spouse or family member, even when the going is tough. The choice to love is yours and yours alone.
The complete opposite of this is also true. Holding onto anger, bitterness, exclusion or hurt is a choice that we make. Being jealous or filled with envy, fearful or consumed with worry is a choice that we make. Is it easy to always love? Absolutely not! Do people wound us in unimaginable ways? Of course. Do we hide the heartache behind a veneer of smiles and positive affirmations? Yes we do.
Life throws us curve balls. We sometimes mess up. Perhaps our perspective and world view conditions us to react or retreat. Even so, the choice is there before each and every one of us. Choose to love.
Who is there in your world that you can choose to love? Are there attitudes you are holding onto, or behaviours that you have that could change? Does a perspective within you need to shift?
Love is a doing word. You choose to love. My prayer is that you would be one who is known for loving others and that this community of faith would be a place in which the choice to love others far outweighs selfish desire and gain. May we have outward eyes to notice others and see them as God see us, as His creation, beautifully made and worthy of love, dignity, honour and respect.
Peace to You and Yours,