We all have to believe in something, it is the life blood that colors our character and outlines our lives as individuals, a crowning glory for most Americans. We define ourselves by these opinions, whether it is believing in a higher power, in freedom, in the American dream, in anger, in sex, or in money. Even those who say they don’t believe in anything, well their denial is actually a belief in denial, a belief in believing nothing.
I believe in love.
Some people call my kind “romantics.” For me, I think it developed out of a childhood watching Disney movies. Despite all the critics of Disney, I think it taught me more good than bad, especially since that’s where I learned to dream big and wish bigger. That quality also taught me to believe in a love so pure and unrealistic we can only find it in fairy tales. It wasn’t until I was many years older that I realized this love could also be found in God.
Although it makes me incredibly sappy at times, and way too susceptible to a good chick flick, I prefer this belief to those who love to hate and the ones who hate to love. It gives me hope, a bright light in the darkness that illuminates my life with dreams and daring.
My wistful heart is very excited right now because tomorrow, August 4 at 4:30 pm, I get to witness love in one of its proudest moments – the wedding of my brother and future sister-in-law.
It is always really sad to me when people talk about marriage as if it is just some fun party, or when I see a different celebrity couple every other week get divorced. Somehow our culture has lost a respect for this union, which is why we enter into it blindly and walk away broken. Thankfully God can heal all things and works even through that brokenness, but I pray that more people would be able to understand and experience the commitment of a marriage that lasts forever.
I have come to wonder whether this problem of broken marriages comes from a misunderstanding of love. I want to clarify this: when I say I believe in love, it is probably not the love you think of first, the one as defined by Hollywood, it is something much deeper and much more powerful.
Love is not head-over-heels, but standing firmly on both feet.
Love is not a “feeling” or butterflies of some kind, it is a knowledge and certainty that comes with commitment.
Love is not selfish, but it always cares more for the other over the individual.
Love is not blind, but real love has eyes wider than most, ones that see everything yet don’t close shut or turn away.
Most importantly, love is not temporary – it is as permanent as the God who is love.
This is the love I believe in, the one that represents Gods dedicated, sacrificial love. In theory, this love finds completion in marriage because that is the closest representation we have to the commitment God gives to us. In the same way that God will never leave us nor forsake us, this is how we have to approach marriage, for better or for worse.
Although some people find this kind of love less dreamy, I find it powerful enough to inspire my dreams. This kind of love can of course be found in other places, like a family that is always there for you and or friends who still love you despite your faults. These are the things I believe in, the power of love that can take us anywhere and build people up instead of breaking them down.
Tomorrow I get to witness this in a wedding, one I am incredibly thrilled and blessed to be a part of. Where will you encounter this love tomorrow? What will it inspire you to do, or how can you see God’s love through it?