Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Love is a...

"Love...endures all things" 1 Corinthians 13:7b
"We tend to celebrate the strength of love and not the length of it." Drew Bennett

Today is my parents forty second anniversary.  In today's day and age it's a modern miracle when a couple decides to honor the vows that they said as 'just kids' in a church that has been demolished years ago.  I do not want to paint the picture that Ed and Gwen Diaz said 'til death do us part' and life became easy.  It was not a decision made over four decades ago that holds them together today.  The reason that they are together is not 'The Notebook' kind of love, but another kind of Love.

Life is not easy.  I vividly remember loud arguments about budgets or my dad's borderline obsession with youth baseball.  I remember my mom 'reminding' my dad often about the same things. (most men can call this nagging:)  There were times of uncomfortable quiet at the dinner table, and even sometimes you wished for those awkward silences.  There was however, rarely if ever, we as kids felt that our home was ever headed for divorce.  There was a sense that my parents would endure.

As I get older I realize the endurance I speak of could not possible come from a couple of twenty one year old kids making a commitment and being so stubborn that come hell or high water they were gonna stick to it.  I am realizing that human resolve is not strong enough for that.  I've watched my grandparents get divorced very late in life.  I've seen young couples at our church quit because those first years weren't the happily ever after they were told it was.  They found out that after the wedding, is well, marriage!  The discovered that in marriage is another person who is not perfect.

There is nothing wrong with the love Nicolas Sparks writes about.  It is passionate, it can be beautiful, it draws us to our mate, it however, cannot endure.  It is attainable often in a marriage, but there are lulls, and my parents have had both.  The gross out the kids kind of passion, and the lulls.  So how do I hope to last with Leslee forty two years and beyond like my parents have.

I hate to debate the great theologians DC Talk, but love most certainly is not a verb.  At least not in 'the love chapter' of 1 Corinthians 13.  You know, love is patient, kind, does not envy or boast, etc.  I was taught in church a few weeks from this text and to think about this chapter from this point of view.  There are a lot of adjectives in the chapter.  Adjectives don't describe a verb but a noun.  Even though I dropped out of Florida State, I know that a noun is a person, place, or thing.  The only one of these options in this chapter that makes sense to me is that Paul is describing not a place or thing, but a Person.  Paul is personifying love!  This Person is patient, this Person is kind, and this Person, 'endures
all things.'

We know that this Person is in fact Jesus.  Jesus was patient on the cross, he was kind to those who crucified him, and the endured the ultimate wrath so we don't have to.  You see, my parents have made a decision to look to Jesus throughout their daily lives.  When they come face to face with the fact that He had to endure this unfair, horrendous, torture in order to have a relationship with them, it becomes a bit easier to deal with the spouse they feel called to have a relationship with.

I love you Mom and Dad, thank you for enduring, and most of all thank you for pointing us to the One who endures all things, so we can endure minor things.  Happy Anniversary!!

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