Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the Lord!
-Song of Solomon 8:6
The love shared between a man and a woman is one of the greatest gifts that we enjoy in life, and it is the nearest metaphor we have for the cosmic romance between Christ and the Church. As the verse above indicates, love is at the very center of who God is. Peter Kreeft writes:
Love is God's essence. Nowhere else does Scripture express God's essence in this way. Scripture says God is just and merciful, but it does not say that God is justice itself or mercy itself. It does say that God is love, not just a lover. Love is God's very essence. Everything else is a manifestation of this essence to us, a relationship between this essence and us. This is the absolute; everything else is relative to it.
We're dealing here with something that is straight out of heaven, and even though the perfection of creation has been marred and fragmented, the beauty of God's original intent remains, and it is fitting that we celebrate it.
On July 2nd, Mom and Dad marked 25 years of marriage. The beautiful thing about Mom and Dad's marriage is how they've shown that it's not about just hanging in there and putting up with your spouse. You can pretend to love by forcing yourself and gritting your teeth, but not for very long. Mom and Dad have exemplified loving through surrendering, and in this way have been more than conquerors - not just surviving in marriage, but thriving in it.
Mom and Dad are also a model of serving in marriage. In fact, they're so busy doing stuff for others that we have to catch them totally off guard if we want to do anything for them. So, this past weekend, that's exactly what we did. On Saturday, some friends distracted them with a little trip to Yosemite, and over a hundred friends and relatives showed up for a surprise party. The surprise was a slam dunk, and we all enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of blessing and honoring this special couple.
We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of our dear friends and family who helped to make Saturday the special day that it was, by bringing gifts, pitching in to help, or simply by being there, in body or in spirit. We love and appreciate all of you more than words can say. Thank you.
And to Mom and Dad: Happy Anniversary!
Image courtesy of Callis Family Photography