6Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
its passion as enduring as the grave.
Love flashes like fire,
the brightest kind of flame.
7Many waters cannot quench love,
nor can rivers drown it.
If a man tried to buy love
with all his wealth,
his offer would be utterly scorned.
Song of Solomon 8:6-7
Not a flash in the pan. Not a one night stand. Not a temporary emotion. Not simply going through the motions. No, this kind of love cannot be bought or sold, cannot be a commodity or commercialized, cannot be quenched or quelled, and will outlast the grave cannot be found on this earth apart from Christ. This kind of love that King Solomon’s Bride was crying out for is eternal love. Love that lasts can only be found when Christ is the source of that love for both husband and wife and is found at the center of that marriage. The prophet Jeremiah described it this way, “Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love, I have drawn you to myself.” (Jeremiah 31:3) A love that is faithful, not fleeting, a love that is genuinely about serving the other person, is found when we draw daily from the endless reservoir of our relationship with Christ.
22 years ago this Friday as a 22-year-old man I could barely keep my legs under me as my beautiful bride Cyndi walked down the grassy isle of Lido Island while many others looked on. The afternoon sun shone down upon her but she was lit up from the inside with a glow that has only grown brighter over the years. When I held her hands and repeated the vows as I looked into her sparkling blue eyes I really had no idea what it meant to love this woman sacrificially and unceasingly for a lifetime. We had chosen these very verses out of Song of Solomon to be on our wedding program because we loved that balance of passion and permanency these words painted. We sincerely wanted to grow old together and we knew we couldn’t do it on our own. The thing that has held us together despite the flood waters we have faced is that we both love Jesus more than we love each other. The reality that our love won’t last but His love will, keeps us going back to Jesus to get what we cannot from each other. Jesus love is the seal over our hearts when our emotions seek to run away with them. His love that conquered death helps us to conquer the self-serving attitudes that bring death to so many marital unions. Jesus love is buoyantly keeping our head above water when challenges of parenting and finances seek to drag us down. Jesus love is the anchor that keeps our commitments from getting tossed about in the constantly changing morals and mores of our liquid culture. I can say with all honesty that I do not think we would have made it this far without Jesus at the center. In fact, I’m not really sure how couples without Christ last as long as they do. All I know is that the more I press into the presence of Christ the better husband I become Cyndi and the better our marriage becomes in the long run. And isn’t that exactly what it is, a long run? Marriage is a marathon and I’m determined to reach the finish line with my bride by my side the whole time!
Lord, thank You for the blessing that Cyndi is to me. She is a constant reminder that You give me more then I deserve. Her kindness, her courage, her patience with me are all examples of Your lasting love. Thank You for holding us together through all the trials we have faced over the past 22 years. If the next 22 are going to be better than the past 22 then I need to press into You as never before. You are the love that lasts.