I had the simultaneous pleasure and pressure of being around young love recently.
Pleasure because young love rustles emotions of wonder and delight that fuels the key element in every classic romantic comedy. From inception, through endearing evolutions and powerful transformative story lines, new love warms you like a steaming mug of cocoa on a cold, bitter, snowy day. It lights something that life sometimes snuffs. Part of me felt lucky to clinch front row seats to something so alluring and pure.
But another part of me felt the pressure of being in the company of two people who weren’t intoxicated yet were sneaking kisses in broad daylight. We say “Get a room you two!” to lighten the mood, but they are seriously laser focused on one another. They aren’t only in love – they are in like. Sometimes the like is harder to get to, isn’t it? Was their mutual like making us feel a little uncomfortable? Watching two people hold hands doesn’t nudge me to awkward so much as the adoring look they had in their eyes. Why did half of me feel like I couldn’t get enough of it, and the other half feel a little sour?
What steals that gleam, that blissful yearning, barely surviving the thought of being apart – or if you’re a man reading this–the new car smell- of new relationships?
Is it the years? Never before did going for a walk require stretching, $150 sneakers for “mature” people’s feet and an ice pack. Maybe I’m just I old and ornery.
Are we just painfully aware of the long list of character flaws in our marriages? Maybe it sparked jealousy that they could look past those “small details” and deeply into one another’s eyes and dream of the other side of “I do?”
1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” What more powerful prowling could take place? Satan knows how hard marriage is and figures it’s only a matter of time before there’s some good eatin’. Although he cannot read our minds or hearts, he knows once that spark is gone, stealing that joy from us is low hanging fruit. History tells him if we don’t work at protecting and preserving it, he can rob us when all he’s holding is a water gun. Either God’s power or Satan’s distraction can impact your family’s and/or your future ripple. Why do we hand over the goods when the goods we’re relinquishing affect every single aspect of our lives? When the Devil steals joy of this magnitude, it affects generations to come. Why don’t we pick this righteous fight? We have the Almighty Trinity and an army of Heavenly Hosts on our side rooting us on like fanatical fans. My heart breaks imagining them shaking their heads when they see the fights we do pick and not this most crucial one.
While I was pondering all this, my faith skinned its knee. What if this sweet couple had giddy happiness, were puppy dog adorable, but are currently only experiencing this world’s kind of love, but not God’s brand? I then realized something this good could only come from God. We read in 1 John 4:7 & 8 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” I smirked feeling ever so smart, because I was in on the inside scoop…this relationship had Our Father’s Heavenly signature all over it.
A famous quote from, “A Bronx Tale” is: “Would you rather be loved or feared?” and the main character answered, “Feared… it lasts longer.” And as Gracelyn would say, “Tah dah!!!” – my epiphany!!!
If you don’t know God’s Word, fear might be the right answer. It might last longer here in this broken world. But if you have ears that hear and eyes that see THE truth, you know 1 Corinthians 13:7, 8 says “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” “Love never ends.” Love is the answer for believers.
So seeing I’m smitten with their irresistible stolen kisses in this cold, broken world, I’m going to make sure I share with them my prayer for them:
Lord, I lift up this sweet new dynamic duo and beg you to bless them richly with Your love, great faith and hope. We know the Bible says the greatest of these is love – and it looks like they’re off to an amazing start. If they do not know You, I pray they find You. With You, should the gleam dim for whatever reason, they’ll have Your brilliant light to guide them. There is no better guide. Only You can ensure that sparkle never ends. You are so great, Father, and I am humbled to know the extent of Your love for us all. Please grant them eyes to see this beautiful new beginning is a gift from You, and to cherish it and praise You always. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.