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Friday, 13 March 2015

Who Can Say This, Part 2

   A certain sentence containing three words can easily roll off our lips without thinking through what it really means.  The simple phrase I'm talking about is "I love you."  Love's varied uses has caused its meaning to be blurred.  When we say we love cheesecake, it's different than saying we love a person.  When we express love, is it a feeling in the moment or a commitment that will endure?
   While popular songs express romantic love freely, I wonder if we ought to be more guarded in how quickly we say that we love another.  One country singer crooned, "I'm gonna love you forever and ever, forever and ever. Amen," but sadly his marriage ended after nineteen years.  Others sing "My love for you is true," but all human love falls short of what it sets out to be.  Who lives up to the promises made in most love songs?
   One honest musician I encountered via a pirated cassette given to me in the mid 1990's comes right out and says,

I could never promise you on just my strength alone
That all my life I'd care for you, and love you as my own
I've never known the future, I only see today
Words that last a lifetime would be more than I could say

But the love inside my heart today is more than mine alone
It never changes, it never fails, never seeks it's own
And by the God who gives it, and who lives in me and you
I know the words I speak today are words I'm going to do [1]

   In that same spirit when my husband and I were getting to know each other, we were conscious of meaning what we said.  I knew that the first time he said, "I love you," it meant that something bigger was just around the corner.  About one week later, he asked me to marry him.  The desire to make a commitment to each other has always been tempered with the humility that only with God's love inside of us will we be able to fulfill our vows as we ought.  The kind of love expressed in 1 Corinthians 13, a love of action directed by the will rather than feelings, is God's love.  Amazingly, by God's grace, we are not only invited to receive God's love, but we also become able to love with God's love.  That's the only way we can say "I love you" with authenticity.

[1] Lyrics found http://www.elyrics.net/read/d/don-francisco-lyrics/i-could-never-promise-you-lyrics.html" 

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