"We love because He first loved us." - 1 John 4:19
This is the only "before" photo of the flowers I bought for my son's courthouse wedding yesterday. Their formal wedding will be held later in the year, but they thought it would be romantic to get legally married sooner at the courthouse in the city where they'd fallen in love. We'd come the day before and were staying in a B&B. The proprietress claimed the flowers would stay fresh if I put them in the refrigerator available to guests. So this is what I did, even as I worried that the mini-frig was too cold for them. I should have listened to my instincts. In the morning the two buds on the left had shriveled and had to be cut off and half of two of the Dahlia blossoms had turned brown--plus the roses looked a bit frost-bitten as well! I explained this to the bride as I handed the bouquet to her after the ceremony, apologizing for their less-than-pristine condition.
As I wrote about the occasion in my journal this morning I realized this is the marital advice I want to share with my son and his bride: If you let your love for one another grow cold, it will soon wither and die. Instead, find ways to fan the flames of first love.
They are off to a good start with their romantic love, which certainly helps, but unless their love for one another is seen as a gift instead of an entitlement, they will be in danger of having it wither and die. In the same way God's gift of love--His forgiveness--should not be taken for granted. Every day we should express our gratitude to Him through our acts of love to one another.
Even though the flowers weren't perfect, they added to the festive feel of the occasion and I was able to put aside my disappointment in how my gift looked--another lesson to be gleaned from my Parable of the Flowers--for me!
I am grateful that God's love is boundless and enables me to forgive so I can love, too.