Gavin and I had our first trial of our marriage vows this past week because I have been sick. The kind of sick where my voice sounded like that of the male species; that made my face swollen because of the amount of water in my nose and eyes, where my skin was dry and broken and my lips cracked. Where I couldn’t be bothered to do anything (especially not cook or clean!); where there was no such thing as cuddles or affection – for fear of spreading germs. Where all I could moan about is ‘when can have my next lemsip and cough medicine’; and all bets were off as to how I was going to react to even the smallest joke, inconvenience or mistake (I really don’t think I have been that touchy – Gavin would probably disagree!!).
On top of all of this suffering (mine, not Gavin’s) my mood was not helped by his reaction when I keep asking him “how do I look’’? Between us, I know I looked a sight, but I wanted my new husband to see me through rose tinted glasses and convince me that I looked just as beautiful as I did on the 5th March…turns out even a politician can’t spin that one convincingly! I have been miserable. Thankfully, I am now on the mend and we seem to have actually survived this test. At least I believe that – Gavin may have been scarred for life!
Being serious, I was thinking during my many sleepless nights just how much he must love me – really love me. I was not at all loveable this week and yet that mattered not. His love is not about flowers, chocolates, fancy dates and holding hands –it’s about promises, commitment and choice. And even more importantly, his love is not based on whether I am being loveable – for that I am very grateful!
All of this made me think about God’s love for me and for us. We use the word ‘love’ too easily – I use it cheaply every day… “l love tomato ketchup, Brad Paisley, Primark, red wine…” But none of these come close to what love is really about, nor do they go anywhere near describing what God means when he says
‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’
He is talking about love that never fails, fades or ends. Love that never changes. Love that has no agenda or expectation. Love that forgives, but never forgets me. Love that can never ever be measured or limited. Love is based on nothing except that I am God’s child and I belong to him. Love that would give up everything for me, but will never give up on me.
Love that is ‘very fond of me…’
This clip perfectly depicts the indescribable love of God for us. In a world that ‘loves’ one day and forgets the next, this is what love is really about. Love that is a rescue, redemption and restoration plan.
Gavin and I will never love each other perfectly; we just don’t have that capacity yet. Thankfully, when I need to know what perfect love looks like or I need a marker to be my guide, I have the best example to follow.
Gavin and I made vows on the 5th March, which included ‘in sickness and in health’. God made a vow to us, in the promise of Jesus, way back at the beginning of time – ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’.