Thursday, May 31, 2018

Season of Love

Summer has begun and tomorrow is June 1st.  June - traditionally the most popular month for weddings.  (Although, wedding coordinators will tell you October comes in at a close second, now.)

Last Sunday, I got home just in time to watch a wedding that was being live-streamed.  A precious young lady we met while working in El Salvador, was marrying another minister from a different country.  Her father (who pastors in our area) conducted the ceremony with great joy.

You see, the bride had just come through major surgery due to cancer. (She is expected to make a full recovery with time.)  Her wedding day will forever be remembered as a day of triumph!

I must tell you, her beauty filled the screen as I watched.  And I can only imagine the euphoria felt by those gathered in the huge auditorium as witnesses.  Tears and laughter blended in the wedding celebration of those two dedicated Christ followers.

Their vows were powerful; describing how they had prayed for one another before they even met.  How they had intentionally chosen to follow God, trusting He would bring them together at some point on their life journey.

T.R.U.S.T.  Five simple letters strung together to describe something so complex.

The entire celebration of that dear couple showed the importance of trust again and again.

  • They each trusted God with the direction of their personal lives.  
  • That trust led them to find one another while serving in a country different than their own. 
  • They came to trust one another in that atmosphere of ministry.  
  • They declared their trust in spite of the bride's illness.  
  • They pledged their lives to one another, trusting for a future of hope and strength.

Frank and I counsel and marry couples all the time.  We talk with them about the impossibility of maintaining joy without trust.  And one of the most powerful books I've ever read on marriage presents trust in the most simplistic way.

The title is: Love and Respect.

The basic premise is this:  Women desire to be loved.  They want to know they matter to the man they entrust with their devotion.  Men desire to be respected.  It's built into their DNA.  They must know they are honored in the heart of their bride.

Paul even wrote about this in his letter to a church in Ephesus.  "Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church - a love marked by giving, not getting.  Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ."

In other words, we should each give what the other needs; then trust that our own desires will be met as well.  Simple but far from easy!

If I hold out to my husband the respect he deserves, his heart feels more fulfilled.  If he offers me the love I long to experience, I'll feel safe in that love.  My immediate response is to respect the man making me feel so loved.  Feeling respected causes him to love the woman who honors him so.

See the cycle?

Of course, the reciprocal is true with most things in life.  If I dishonor my husband, he has no desire to offer me love.  In that scenario, we both lose.

After 38 years of marriage, I choose to win.  Building trust by offering respect.  Receiving love that replenishes my very soul.

If you're looking for a good read this summer, I'd encourage you to get a copy of Love and Respect by Eggerichs.  It has changed the way Frank and I interact with one another.  It's taught us valuable lessons about the hearts of those we minister to.  It has given us a platform for building more trust.

And in this beautiful season of love, we could all stand to build a little more trust.  Right?



I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.  Have you already read the book I referenced?  What experience could you share as an encouragement to others?

2 comments:

  1. I have not read the book but one of my favorite passages from the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13 - the love chapter. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.

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    Replies
    1. Excellent reminder, Phyllis. Thanks!

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