Who hasn’t heard the saying, “More is caught than taught?” In other words, you can teach me something, but if you show me something instead, I experience it along with you. To see you living it out before me somehow makes it vivid and authentic to me. Your living story seeps in around the edges of my imagination where I can easily internalize it for myself. I suppose this is why the Apostle Paul uses the story of an earthly marriage to illustrate a heavenly love story.
Every woman swoons at the thought of a man who is a sacrificial, nail-pierced leader modeled by the life of Christ. A husband who will love her unconditionally—through times when she’s unlovely or unlovable, or both. When we watch a man’s grand pursuit of his bride, and then see him offer his strength to cover and protect her, we are all moved. When powerful becomes tender, those of us watching somehow experience the romance of it, too. Consciously or unconsciously, his love story seeps into our hearts, and our attitudes towards Christ are radically changed.
But there’s another part to this epic love story, isn’t there? A leading lady. The bride. When a man pursues a woman aren’t we all sitting on the edge of our seats wondering if she will take his hand? Will she step out onto the shaky ground of love, leaving everything she knows, everything familiar, behind? It’s a great risk for her to place another at the helm of her life—and we all know it. But when she finally does cut the restraints of her heart and begins to pursue him with a lavish love, when she fills his life with unspeakable joy, it’s a balm to the souls of a watching world. Not a dry eye in the house. Consciously or unconsciously, through the pathways of an earthly bride’s love, we are drawn to something higher, something beyond the immediate couple.
If you are married, then the stage is already set. Your moment by moment examples of love are far more powerful, far more inspiring than anything coming from the pulpit. Every kiss, every touch, every thoughtful deed or stolen glance makes your love authentic and it teaches the rest of us. These seemingly insignificant moments are living examples that make the words, “I love you” genuine. Lives are literally changed because of your love story and your children have a front row seat. What exactly is on your must-do-today-list that is more important than pursuing love?