By Joe Chesser
The Impressive Clergyman, in the movie The Princess Bride, began the wedding ceremony of Prince Humperdinck and Princess Buttercup with the classic words, “Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam… And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva… So tweasure your wuv.”
It’s appropriate while we are surrounded by Valentine’s Day cards, candy, flowers and gifts to be reminded of love. And it’s certainly true that “Love, true love, will follow you forever. So treasure your love.” But regardless of the money spent on trying to express your “true love,” a dinner at a nice restaurant, a box of candy, and a few flowers with a card do not really define “true love.” I’m not saying that those things aren’t nice and very much appreciated. I’m saying that “true love” is not something you can buy at WalMart or Ruth’s Chris. “True love” is expensive, but no amount of money can substitute for it or adequately express it.
The greatest definition of “true love” is found in John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” and “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” It’s clear how God defined “true love”: when you love others with your whole heart you hold nothing back that is good for them … nothing.
That’s how God’s heart views “true love.” And that’s exactly how God wants us to give “true love.” The last part of 1 John 3:16 says, “And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” God wants us to not only learn from him what “true love” is, he wants us to imitate his love for us in our relationships with others! John continued this thought in 1 John 4:11 by writing, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” Such love certainly includes cards and candy and flowers, but those things will never define “true love.”
A more extensive definition of “true love” is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
When defined this way, the Impressive Clergyman was on target when he said, “And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva… So tweasure your wuv.”
Treasure “true love” from God to you, and through you to others.
- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: The 4th Sunday of February each year is National Princess Bride Day.