My friend attends a weekly Men’s Bible Study. Recently, the topic of the small group discussion was the similarity between God’s relationship with man, and the relationship between a man & a woman. The comments were as diverse as the marriages (and divorces) of the men in the room.
Near the end of the discussion, my friend told the following story about his Wedding Day:
On our Wedding day, my wife gave me a hand-written note. It read, “On her Wedding day, a bride must choose between the two men that she wants to marry: One man is flawed, with good traits and bad. The other is a man she will try to change into the husband, with whom she wants to spend the rest of her life.”
My friend’s wife wrote, “I choose you, “As Is”, to be my husband for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, ‘till death do us part.”
My friend replied to his wife, “I am the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”
My friend kept his wife’s note in his dresser drawer for 47 years. It’s yellow and faded, with frayed edges, but its value increases every day.
The discussion room’s silence was broken by the minister who asked, “May I use your story at my Wedding Ceremonies?”
It is counter-intuitive that love is less about moonlight & balconies, and more about patience & acceptance. Love is about the sacrifice of sharing all you have, giving who you are, expecting nothing in return.
“Sacrifice” does not mean “Loss”. The word “sacrifice” comes from two Latin words – Sacri Faciam: “To make holy”. The rich, full essence of love is holy. That’s love’s Cosmic beauty.
That’s counter-intuitive to today’s culture of “What’s in it for me?” The more we focus on selfish wants, the more we wail, “Is that all there is?” Shakespeare expressed the futility of a selfish life as, “A life full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. A life that struts and frets its hour upon the stage, to be heard, no more.”
My friend’s wife’s unconditional love “As Is” was the thread that sewn two hearts together, forever. Paradoxically, loving a husband “As Is” transforms a husband to willingly want to be the better man, so devoutly to be hoped for on the Wedding Day.
Perhaps, if we loved each other as God loves us, we would find the joy that we are seeking?
Perhaps, unconditional “As is” love reaps incalculable ROI (Return on Investment)? It’s timeless…and priceless.