Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience—it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance.
5-6 Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad when truth prevails.
7-8 Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen. (JBP)
Weddings can be very expensive, very elaborate, very challenging. Everything has to be just right. All those daydreams and anticipation come to fruition on just one day. The occasionally fairy-tale façade conceals an undercurrent of anxiety and apprehension. How will it turn out? Will all go according to plan?
So weddings can be both wearying and wonderful. Which is a bit like marriage, only marriages last a bit longer. A wedding is an event, marriage is a process. If couples think arranging a wedding is difficult, maintaining a healthy marriage is a lot more difficult. Having the elaborately planned wedding day go off without a hitch is one thing. Living out the vows we make on that day takes a lifetime of practice.
Our text today is often read at weddings but its depth of meaning only understood when the wedding is over and the marriage begins. Wedding days might present challenges, but there is usually much love and joy in the air. Quite right too. But the real test of love is not how the couple gaze into each other’s eyes at the wedding, but how they bless and serve one another in the many and varied demands and delights of marriage.
It can take some planning and some money and some imagination to arrange a wedding. It takes a lifetime of learning to love to make a marriage.