When I was in undergrad I had the opportunity to work at a church's high school youth group (after a couple of years it was also the middle school program as well). The first spring break trip I went on was to Colorado to go skiing and be a small group leader on the church's trip. It was this year when I first met Luke, Kyle, and Brian, boys that I mentored throughout the rest of their high school career. This trip was the beginning of our friendship where there was many outings to Applebees and any show that was in Grand Rapids, Chicago, and/or Detroit. We were always doing something and it was a time where I heard what was happening in their life as well as walking along side them in the growings up of life.
I had the amazing opportunity this weekend to give the message portion of the marriage ceremony of Luke and his now wife Mindi. Luke was there the longest and we went to so many shows, bought so much music, and turned his little white sneakers into black Chuck Taylor's. I was really honored when they asked me to be a part of this day and was willing to share whatever wisdom I might be able to share with a communion of people on my wisdom (haha) on love. It took me awhile to understand what this task was going to be and then I read the verse from Song of Songs they choose.
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
7 Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot wash it away.
At the moment of reading this verse as a whole I was blown away. What a love that is that could be as strong as death. I am not aware of this kind of love. I don't know what this love is that it burns and cannot be quenched by even water. It made me sit back and think about the importance of love and the meaning and values we attribute to it. When we have a love this strong are there limits and boundaries that are added? When a love this strong exists is trust so foundational that all previous boundaries are removed or pushed back? Why are we so ever needing and ever grasping after love?
If this verse helps us to express or explain love why is it that we so often want to cheapen love? Why as an American culture we have become so infatuated with the beginnings of relationships rather than the fight to be inside the relationship? What is it about love that is so hard to get to? If it is worth fighting for then do we fight?
It's been a long time since I have been in a relationship so I believe these are questions that I know I need to ask. I think for awhile I was afraid of love. Maybe because deep down somewhere I knew that love was strong and that I would have to sacrifice myself for someone else. I think as much as I would fight for love I think I was really just fighting to be wanted and needed in a way that my culture told me only a love relationship could provide. I think love is the most important value i have in my life. I hope in the future I may find someone that I can love as strong as death and that it's not as simple as a love song or a teen love story.