Ron continues his love series from I Corinthians 13 with a post entitled, “Love Never Fails.” In the following story, a young couple meet for premarital counselling. In this series, Ron breaks down I Corinthians 13:4-7 into easily segments by using a selection of “love” themed short stories.
Ron Hughes is the president of FBH International and has decades of experience in Christian mass communications. Recently Ron has overseen the launching of HopeStreamRadio, a Christian internet radio ministry. One of Ron’s passions is writing and he shares this passion with others on his program, “Author Interview.“
Tim and Bekah were laughing at some secret joke as Matt invited them in. This was their first premarital counselling session with Matt and though they made themselves comfortable holding hands on the loveseat in his home office, they were a little nervous. Matt settled into his favourite recliner.
After some ice-breaking chatter, Matt got down to business. “Have you decided to write your own vows, or you going with traditional vows?”
Bekah responded quickly. “We want an old-fashioned wedding, so we’re going with traditional vows. You know, the usual ‘to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part.’”
As she spoke Tim nodded vigourously.
“That’s good,” said Matt. “Let’s think about those vows and get past the words to what you’re really promising to each other. You’re telling each other that no matter what happens, your love will never fail. Death is the only thing that can separate you. That’s a pretty big promise.”
In It For The Long Haul
Tim and Bekah looked at each other, then back at Matt.
“Those vows mean that you’re in this for the long haul, regardless of the circumstances that come along. I always tell couples that now is the time to think about this, before you say something you might not mean.”
Matt read their expressions and body language. Both Tim and Bekah were thinking: This is a surprise. “I want to give you a few examples of situations that you probably haven’t thought of — situations that test the enduring quality of love. One couple I married had several good years, and things were going well. Then MS struck. Before long, he was carrying the full household load and being the sole breadwinner. Their love is lasting, but it’s been hard. For both of them.”
A Marriage That Didn’t Last
Tim and Bekah shared a glance.
“Another couple was focussed on family. He became an accountant so that he could support the family single-handedly. She was going to stay home with the children and home-school them. But the company he worked for got into trouble. Somebody fudged the books. He was blamed and got fired. He can’t work as an accountant any more. Now, they both work entry level jobs and their parents take turns caring for their daughter. They’re staying together because they love each other, but it’s tough. Really tough.”
Once again Tim and Bekah looked at each other, then back at Matt.
“Then there’s a couple whose child wasn’t properly buckled into his car seat. They were in an
accident and the toddler suffered a serious brain injury. Deep inside, each blamed the other and, sadly, in that case, the marriage didn’t last. Something other than death parted them.”
Love Never Fails
Matt knew he had their attention. “It may seem strange that I want to talk about this at your first session. But if not now, when? It will only get harder the further things develop. The odds are that you’ll never face any of the trials I’ve mentioned, but you’ll have some. There will be illness. There will be financial challenges. There will be times when you disagree sharply with each other. There will be things that make you think about giving up.”
Both of the young people nodded. Tim spoke first. “I’m, still just thinking about how wonderful it will be to wake up every morning beside Bekah knowing that we’re spending the rest of our lives together.”
Bekah chimed in. “When I think of ‘good’ marriages, I think of the ‘easy’ ones. But I see that’s pretty shallow. I’m starting to understand that ‘challenging,’ ‘difficult,’ even ‘hard’ ones can be ‘good,’ too.”
Matt smiled. “I’m glad we’ve got this out of the way, but do keep thinking about it. Maybe you’ll want to talk with people in challenging situations and ask them what keeps them together — what makes love last. After all, in a few months you’ll be making promises in front of your family and friends and, more importantly, before God. You are going to promise each other that your love will never end — that’s part of Gods definition of love — ‘love never fails.’”
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Images Courtesy of:
Holding On – Jennifer Freeman
Rings – Mike Goodwin
Sunset – Roger Kirby
Love Never Fails– Keramark Solutions