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Message to the Bride & Groom - Standard

Every time a couple comes to me and asks me to marry them I ask them one simple question: “Why do you want to get married?”  Almost every couple I’ve ever asked has answered my question the same way – “because we’re in love.”   I then ask “But what happens when you’re no longer in love?” More often than not, they just stare at me blankly.   
I invite you to ask any couple here today if they’re still in love.  Most will answer that they are.  But if you ask them if they’ve been in love every minute of every day that they’ve been together, I guarantee you that they will tell you there have been days that they haven’t been in love. 

There is a difference between being IN LOVE, which the two of you are right now, and what TRUE love actually is.  Being IN LOVE is incredible – it’s your heart skipping a beat when you catch a glimpse of each other from across the room, it’s the anticipation you feel the moment before you kiss, and it’s the longing you feel when the other isn’t around.  It’s the longing and desire kind of love.

 If you’ve ever been to a wedding, you’ve most likely heard the minister read the passage from First Corinthians chapter 13 which says that “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not rude, 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.”
This passage was originally written to the Greeks in the Greek language.  The Greek language actually has four words for love.  One means sacrificial love, one means passion, one means friendship, and one means fondness.  The love that this passage refers to is not the “IN LOVE” passion kind or even the “friendship” or “affection” kind; it is the sacrificial kind.

It may be hard to imagine today, but there will days when you will not be IN LOVE.  Some of those days will be easy – just those gloomy, cloudy, rainy kind of days.  Other days will be harder – the lightning flashing, thunder crackling, river rising kind of days.  There will be days when you feel so frustrated and angry with the other that you feel like simply giving up.  There will be days you feel so hurt by the other that it feels as if your heart will tear in two.  There will be days you feel so guilty for something you’ve done that you don’t feel worthy of being loved by the other.  During these times, it is the sacrificial kind of love that will see you through. 

Love is patient.  It is choosing to endure what we do not want to endure for the good of the other.  It is taking the full brunt of all the frustration and anger that has built up in the other; it is giving the other space and time when it is needed, and it is doing these things without even a single word in defense or in response.

Love is kind.  It is seeing the other at their very worst and not passing judgment.  It is not saying “I told you so.”

It does not envy.  It is celebrating the good that comes to the other instead of begrudging them because it did not come to us. 

It does not boast.  It is not blowing our own horn or singing our own praise.  It is being so completely enthralled by the other that we would rather listen to and learn about them and their day than share about ourselves. 

It is not proud.  It is not saying to the other ‘look how much I love you; I’ve done all of these things for you today.  I’ve taken out the trash, I’ve mowed the lawn, I’ve vacuumed the carpet, I’ve done the dishes, I’ve folded the laundry, and I’ve cleaned the bathrooms because I love you.”  It is doing those things quietly without wanting recognition because they will make the other happy.  But for the record, if you do happen to do all those things, the other will be VERY happy.

It does not dishonor others.  It is not building yourself up by tearing the other down.  It is not sharing with your friends the shortcomings of the other no matter how funny they may be. 

It is not self seeking.  It is serving the needs of the other before serving the needs of your own self.  It is remembering to say “yes, dear” instead of “but honey.”

It is not easily angered.  It is understanding that what is said and what is done is not always what is meant.  It is knowing that the other is human – mistakes are made.

It keeps no records of wrongs.  This, of course, one only applies to the husband – wives will keep a record for the duration of the marriage.

It always protects.  It is creating a safe environment for the other; an environment in which each can be himself or herself openly and freely.

It always trusts.  It is knowing that the other will love us no matter what we do or what we say.

It always perseveres.  If both of you do all of these things, your love will see you through those times when you’re not IN LOVE.

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