1 John 4:7-9: “7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.”
“Love”, English has it right with its single word for Love. The Greek of the Bible uses mainly four words for “love” – Eros, Phileo, Agape, Storge. I believe Christ was telling us God is the total of all the Greek words for love and then some. I believe we are to love our spouse in the same way we love God. Of course, God is the one who should have first place in our life; God has made husband and wife one and we love our spouse best when we serve him first. We must grow into C. S. Lewis’ “God and Us” – love is forever, and “God and Us” will come after Sheldon Vanauken’s “severe mercy”.
We love with our whole being – physical, spiritual and intellectual – a trinity of Love in the image of God. When we marry, we are united in love that is also a trinity – mind, body and soul in one entity. When you marry, you become one with God and your beloved. The universe begins to knit itself around you. Love is forever. You worship God when you love and sacrifice for your spouse. That brings pleasure to God, and any time you give pleasure to God, you’re worshiping him. “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10, NIV)
Jesus asks: “Who do you say I am?” We answer “Love” the Son of God is Love personified. Through Him God brought true love, complete love and Himself into the world. Christ is within our hearts – you know Christ from within yourself – you become one with him from within yourself through the Holy Spirit He send to be within you. “The knowledge of Jesus Christ is a unitive knowledge: it is the luminosity of my own true and eternal being. … In him I possess the secret knowledge of this unity and of this dynamism, which is history. I cannot capture in words the gravitational pull of this solar Christ, moving in the depths of my being.” Father Bruno Barnhart, OSB Cam. 1931-2015. “For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.” Psalm 38:9 KJV.
Christ had to die so that we might live. God was showing us His love. He tested Abraham and Abraham loved God so much he was willing to kill his own son. God spared Abraham’s son, but he did not spare his own son – Christ had to go through the agony of Death (“Eli Eli lama sabachthani?”) on the cross – He trusted His Father and that was His victory and His rising again. How much more should we, when our time comes trust that we will be taken up into the arms of Christ. Love is stronger than death and our beloved departed spouse is both within us and in Heaven.
Pat and I loved such a love. Surely, we are dwelling in each other and in the house of the Lord where we well dwell forever. Pat says to me every night: “So with you. Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” John 16:22 and it will be with great joy when I reunite with Patricia my beloved forever, in our place in heaven! Our love is forever!