In 130 days, I’m getting married, and a friend recently asked me why I love my fiancé. I wanted to share a deeper perspective on Amanda and I’s relationship, so before I answered why I love her, I had to first explain to him the reasons I don’t love my future bride to be.
I came to two conclusions:
First is, I don’t love Amanda for what’s on the outside. I know. It sounds cheesy, it sounds sappy. This perspective is not a novel idea by any means. How many times have you heard someone say, “I don’t love you for what’s on the outside. I love you for what’s on the inside.” But that brings me to my second conclusion.
I don’t love Amanda for what’s on the inside either.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are many things on the inside and outside that I love about Amanda. Here’s a short list.
Guys are visual creatures, and it’s refreshing to know that I have an incredibly beautiful woman that will be my wife one day.
But it doesn’t stop there because on the inside, she’s exponentially more valuable.
Amanda is awesome. Seriously. I couldn’t have asked for a better teammate.
I love these things about her, but this is not why I love her. As I said before, I neither love her for what’s on the outside, nor do I love her for what’s on the inside.
I love her because I choose to.
In 130 short days, I will be Amanda’s husband. And at that moment, I will have a big responsibility on my shoulders — to love my wife as Christ loves his church.
Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her – Ephesians 5:25
So I thought about the love Christ has for me and the rest of His church. It’s unconditional on what I have done and it’s unconditional on what I do in the future. When I accept Christ, I’m in his family. Romans 8:38 tells me that..
Nothing can ever separate me from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate me from God’s love.
So just as Christ loves the church unconditionally, I as a husband will have to love my wive the same.
And let’s be honest. Christ doesn’t love me for what’s on the outside and he doesn’t love me for what’s on the inside either.
Honestly I’m not good enough.
In fact, no one is good. In Luke 18:19, A ruler questioned Jesus, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.”
And so if God doesn’t love me for what’s on the outside, and if I’m no good on the inside, then why does He love me?
Because He chooses to.
It’s not sexy. It’s not flashy. It’s countercultural. But God’s always choosing people. Whether it be Old Testament or New Testament, the Bible is jam packed of people that were chosen by God.
In Isaiah 43, God says…
You are my witnesses,…,and my servant whom I have chosen
In Ephesians 1, I learned…
He chose me in Him before the foundation of the world
In John 15, Jesus says…
You did not choose Me but I chose you.
So what my love boils down to is not Amanda’s beautiful brown eyes, Amanda’s positive mindset, or the fact that she is incredibly good looking. My love boils down to a choice to pursue a covenant relationship with her and only her. By choosing Amanda, and saying “yes” to her, I’m also saying “no” to everyone else.
My marriage vows won’t say “I’ll love you through sickness and health…as long you keep working out, and stay below this weight….and keep your hair long….and remain gentle and genuine.” In 30 years, Amanda and I will look different, act different, and be different than we are now at the age of 21 and 20 years old.
Things change. But my marriage vows won’t. They’re modeled after the love of Christ, and His love is unconditional.
But Michael, what if she goes crazy?
What if she cuts off all her hair?
What if her heart of gold turns into a heart of stone?
Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter. I gotta love through it. When I commit to a covenant relationship in 130 days, I’m committing myself to a choice to love without conditions.
That’s how Jesus loves me.
And if you don’t know Christ, I encourage you to explore what it means to have a relationship with Him. He is the truest example of love that we have.
Written by: Michael Pittman
Photo credit: Vera Obeng Photography
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