Last night, I attended chapel at school with my husband. No big thing; Sunday nights mostly mean chapel and a chill evening. Last night’s service involved songs and testimonies, and we sang “The Love of God.” I love this hymn, so much so that I chose it for our wedding. I walked down the aisle as my now sister-in-law sang and played the hymn.
Our wedding came in the midst of the most difficult summer of our lives so far. We already wanted our wedding to focus on God and His love, but in the chaos of this summer, we found it particularly necessary to rest on God’s love, not our own. With that in mind, I chose songs and asked the pastor to speak a message focused on Christ’s love for the Church as that is the image marriage is designed to portray.
As I listened to “The Love of God” last night, I realized just how important those words still are in our lives. Even on our best days, when we love each other out of our own strength, we fail miserably. We fall into selfish patterns, get frustrated with one another, and seek joy in each other rather than in God. When we rest fully in God, though, our marriage naturally reflects the love of Christ and the Church.
God’s character forms the best basis for all aspects of our lives, not just our marriage. I find myself less overwhelmed by flashbacks when I point my eyes toward Christ and Christ alone. I teach my students better when I remember that ultimately, my teaching is not about them but about God. I wash my dishes with joy when I recognize that God designed me to manage my home. I write with passion and vision when I consider that God Himself enjoys creativity, and whether anyone else ever sees my work or not, God sees. He delights when I use the talents and gifts He gave me for His glory.
“The Love of God” focuses on one aspect of God’s character, yet the reason behind using this song at our wedding reminds me to apply all of God’s character to my life, to live out my faith every day and in everything I do. It gives me motivation to do something other than wallow in self-pity or seek to fulfill all of my responsibilities without His help.
One of the testimonies shared last night related that we are all useless apart from God. That pertains so well. Apart from God’s love, my love means nothing. It focuses on how I feel, what I want, me, me, me. Apart from God’s strength, I lack any real strength. I cannot make it through one day without Him.