Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8
I knelt in prayer. It was the last time I’d kneel before Him as a single man of twenty-six. I cried out to the Lord for His presence to saturate our wedding; and for a deep revelation of the covenant I was about to enter into with a Polish beauty who loved Jesus deeply.
Finally, one of my groomsmen entered the room. “Brian,” he whispered, “It’s time!”
Minutes later, I stood, somewhat naïve of what this passage entailed. Courtship led to engagement—which brought me to this holy moment. I stood nervously waiting for my bride to come down the aisle.
Finally she entered the sanctuary. The cue? The song we selected for this very moment—Jesus, Lover of My Soul. The lyrics captured the cry of our hearts for marriage.
It’s all about You, Jesus
And all this is for You
For Your glory and your fame
It’s not about me
As if You should do things my way
You alone are God
And I surrender to your ways
My heart was enthralled with awe before Him. A few tears gently strolled down my cheek as she gracefully ambled down the aisle. For months the moment couldn’t come soon enough. Now here it was.
The remaining ceremony was a blur. Worship unto the Lord. Prayer. The message. The reciting of vows. The pronouncement of the glorious union as husband and wife. And the kiss!
Blissful it was.
The moment I’d been waiting for finally arrived. I was hers—and she was mine. I was her husband. She was my wife. A woman of noble character. A woman who loved deeply. A woman who exhibited contagious affections for the Lord. A joyful personality that bubbled with a refreshing laughter.
Anticipation abounded concerning the days, months, years, and decades to come.
On May 12, 2001, during my last few minutes as an unmarried man, I prayed for revelation regarding covenant—yet, I knew so little. So very little.
The unknown loomed before me. Hope beckoned me with a youthful zeal to traverse the chasm of the unknown. Faith secured each step as I trusted in His goodness in spite of the unknown.
The unknown isn’t the only danger. The danger resided in both the known and the unknown. Like a predator lurking in the shadows to pounce on its prey, the danger was always present if one condition persisted: the absence of love.
I’d rather tread in the unknown with love brimming within our hearts than to remain within the comforts of the known with the ache of a love grown cold.
And love, well selfless love, takes time to learn. I’m still learning, to be honest. But I’ve seen it exemplified in my wife consistently over the past fifteen years. Selfless love.
Love heightens the highest of the highs; and makes laudable the lowest of lows. And it provides meaning for everything in between—the touch of the hand; the look that says it all; the inside jokes no one else in the world could decipher; a squabble over pure selfishness (certainly my own doing more than hers); the stress and busyness of family life; and a myriad of other moments that gets lost in the shuffle. Though forgotten, love ties it all together. High moments, low moments, and forgotten moments, all continue to build over time into a beautiful trust between husband and wife in covenant before God.
It is selfless love that always perseveres through the quagmire of yesterday, the chaos of today, and the unknown of tomorrow.
As I celebrate my fifteenth anniversary today, I’m aware that I still have much to learn regarding love. But I have learned that love is the “unsaid said” between husband and wife in covenant: Together before Him, I’ll gladly walk hand-in-hand with you, on the mountaintop and in the valley and through everything in between—just to be with you.
I love you Aneta. Thank you for demonstrating the selfless love everyday as my wife and as a mother to our two precious daughters. I’m grateful for you extending forgiveness to me even when I simply didn’t deserve it. Thank you for teaching me to laugh, even years before we discovered Tim Hawkins. Thank you for being my best friend, my lover, and my most favorite person in the whole wide world. Oh, and thanks for being my spades partner too … we make quite a formidable duo! And I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you, hand-in-hand, in love.
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