Thursday, November 10, 2016
Of all the “one another” verses, the various ones that say “love one another” - there are ten such verses - should be the most obvious in how they relate to marriage. But how should this manifest? 1 Peter 5:14 says “Greet each other with a kiss of love” (three others say “greet one another with a kiss”) When you get home after a long day, do you and your spouse drop everything to make sure you follow this command? If not, do you think it would change things if you did? There are complex scientific reasons for why we kiss, and how it affects us; there’s even a book called the Science of Kissing. Kissing is the subject of poems and songs, and is cinematic shorthand for “happily ever after.” Think about it, it is the climax of many a movie love story. In the Song of Solomon 1:2, the bride says “Let him kiss me with the the kisses of his mouth.” In marriage, sometimes we take this important act of affection and bonding for granted, and stop giving it the attention it deserves. At our wedding, friends gave us the advice to kiss goodnight, every night, without fail. As Julia Roberts’ character in “Pretty Woman” famously inferred, kissing is even more intimate than sex, so the act requires you to lay aside all that may have gone wrong during the day, to intentionally overlook anything that has come between you, and in essence recommit to the union. Romans 12:10 says “Be devoted to one another in love.” Devoted is defined as “zealous or ardent in attachment, loyalty, or affection.” Are you zealous in your affection? Demonstrative, both publicly and privately? Willing to go to great lengths to let your spouse - and everyone else - know how you feel? This is what we are called to be! Again from Song of Solomon (2:4) “He brought me to the banquet house, and his banner over me was love.” Devotion and love is also manifest in truth, honesty and transparency. Ephesians 4:25 says “Speak truth to one another,” and Corinthians 3:9 implores us “Do not lie to one another.” Of course it’s also right there in the original commandments, “Do not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16) These must be followed completely if trust is to remain unbroken. There can be no lies of omission, no bending the truth. Honesty is not only the best policy, it is the basis, the foundation for all successful relationships.
We should also always be our spouse’s biggest fan, and they should be ours. We are in this thing called life together, as partners, as teammates. We need to be each other’s cheerleaders too! 1 Thessalonians 5:11 reads “Encourage and build up one another,” and Hebrews 1-:24 says “Stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” We are supposed to be better together than apart, capable of things that either spouse, alone, could not do. Our strengths should complement our partner’s weaknesses, as our own are covered by their strengths. Of course, none of this is ever easy. Life is difficult, and we are all finite and imperfect. There will be times when we are hurt by our spouse, or worn down by circumstances outside the home. There will be times when we feel unable to love as we are called to do. Our human ability to love will always fall short and let us down. We have vowed though, to do just that; to love our spouse, in all circumstances good or ill. Regardless of feeling, we must always choose to love, to keep our vows. Consider Psalm 15:1 and 4: Lord who may dwell in your sacred tent, who may live on your holy mountain? [he] who keeps an oath, even when it hurts and does not change his mind This is what we are called to, for the betterment of ourselves, our spouses, our communities and our world.