Monday, September 16, 2013
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I don't like to perform a wedding unless I can first have several premarital counseling sessions with the couple. I remember when I told my youngest son (he was very young at that time) that I was going to be performing a wedding ceremony for one of the women on our staff. But the way I said it was this: "Hey, guess what? I'm going to be marrying Margaret." He burst into tears. He said, "What about Mommy?"
So I've cleaned up my vocabulary a little bit, but I won't perform a wedding unless I can first counsel that couple. I'll tell you why. You need to get some of the stars out of their eyes. "I love him!" "I love her!" Well, that's great, but most pre-married couples need an emotional optometrist who can help them take a little more honest look at this person that they really do love. So I try to give them some emotional glasses to see who is really there. I think those sessions are a "must" and in fact I even give some tests to show the differences in expectations and in their perceptions of each other. Why? Well, because of the truth of three time-tested words, "Love is (fill in the blank) blind." No it isn't! Not really.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Love Has X-Ray Vision."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Philippians 1:9-10. This is a great prayer here! In fact, I think it's a prayer we ought to just pray right out of scripture on behalf of some people we care about. Here it is: "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight." It doesn't sound like love is blind there does it? "And I want to pray this so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ."
Now, the word that's used here is agape love. Of the several Greek words that could be used, this is the one for divine love; it's the highest form. He says, "I pray that your agape will abound more and more." And he said that agape love is insightful. It's not just blindly accepting of everything. This applies to all your relationships, not just romantic relationships.
Then he gives here some solid guidelines for all the important choices that you are making at this stage of your life. He says that this knowledgeable love will make you able to discern. It really means to test. Test what? Well, I want you to have the kind of love, God is saying here, that's able to check out what is best.
The Greek word that's used here is one that literally means to carry through. What's worth carrying through life? I want you to be able to discern that. It's often translated "more valuable" in the Bible. When you put it together it seems to say this, "Authentic love checks out every choice and chooses what's really worth the most."
That kind of thinking settled it for my oldest son one day when he was trying to spend all of his allowance on junk food at the store. But he didn't, and when he left he said, "Dad, I decided I'd spend on what lasts." That's what this is talking about. Some people have us believe that love is this syrupy, naive, acceptance of everyone and everything. But actually, that was pretty tough, because it keeps asking, "What's really best in this situation? What will last?" Not, "What's more comfortable, what's more fun, what's more acceptable, or what's more materially profitable?" No, what's more eternally valuable?
You can have that discernment in your daily choices the same way the first-century believers did. You've got to pray for it. Ask for it often. Like Superman, you can have x-ray vision, but to see the things that are really valuable. God can give you powerful inner eyes when you open up to His discerning love. Love isn't blind; it has x-ray vision.