During play today beneath the scorching August sun of Georgia, I listened as a dear friend shared heart words with me. What if we didn't have tomorrow?
What if the lessons I've tried to cobble together as an offering to your hearts so far had to be enough? I would want to know beyond any doubt that you both know how to love. If I have planted even the smallest seeds in your hearts to love completely, honestly, sacrificially, unconditionally.... the rest will come. To love with the kind of love God designed for us to offer is everything. Boys, it is everything.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
We so often say we "love". We "love" this or that or a person or place. Sons, when the measures of your lives are marked... have you loved? Have you given of yourselves a 1 Corinthians kind of love? Patient. Kind. Without envy. Without pride. Polite. Without self-seeking. Slow to anger. Without grudge. Joyfully honest. Protecting. Trusting. Hoping. Persevering. Do you know, do you offer, true love?
Will your love be perfect? No. We are imperfect people. But when you fail... confess it openly, honestly, earnestly. Seek forgiveness... accept forgiveness... before the sun sets. And love fully as the sun rises on a new day.
Without this true love, God tells us we have nothing. We are but empty shells.
As men, you will be as shells. But I pray you are not empty. I pray that to you will come a help mate precisely filling the empty space within you reserved for her... created in the beginning. While your eyes will always see her, from the very beginning, as complete and lovely, she is first as a speck of earth from which we were formed. If you remain true and faithful, a safe harbor, this gift you find so enchanting from the start will grow into something priceless... a treasure of your own. As her beauty grows within the offering of your love, you will come to reflect one another. The walls of your heart will reflect the essence of hers, as an oyster to the pearl. If you fail to be her shelter and she is lost to the sea of the world, you will both lose. She will be cast among the waves where her pure reflection may be etched and marred. She will no longer grow. And without her... without true love... you will be empty.
Watch with great anticipation for this gift offered miraculously unto you. It will change your life forever. But do not be deceived. There are many imitations... loves that are not genuine. Remember the qualities above. When you have found your gem, guard her diligently above all else, that she might not be marred by the world.... or by you... and together your love will forever grow more beautiful.
What I spill out to you here in a jumble of thought, is not popular within the world. This concept will be challenged from every perspective... continuously. But we are not called to be of the world. The world will not fulfill you, but will leave you with a poor imitation of beauty and satisfaction.
8Love never fails.
And that, my beloved boys, is truth... pure and bold. May your hearts be as well.
I love you both completely,