In-Sight: Golden

​I have postponed this month’s In-Sight post until today because it is Jeannie’s and my 50th Anniversary.  Coming on a Friday, it’s the same day we were married five decades ago.

Most of all, I begin this post by saying, “Jeannie, I love you with all my heart, and I am grateful beyond words that you said “Yes” when I asked you to marry me.  I am still breathless when I see you and speechless when I realize the myriad of ways (too many to remember them all) you have loved me. I  use this day to pledge my love anew, for however many years we have left to be husband and wife here on earth.  And if it’s possible for you to have my heart for eternity, it’s all yours!”

In the months leading up to this special day, some have asked, “What have you learned about love over the course of fifty years?”  For starters, I would point you to 1 Corinthians 13. We have experienced love in all the ways Paul describes it.

But apart from that, I would sum it up in three words, “Love is golden.”  When we describe something superlatively, we say it’s “golden.”  And so say I—about love in general, and about the love Jeannie and I have shared for fifty-plus years.  When I say that love is golden, I mean some specific things.

First, it is precious.  I have been blessed in many ways, but none more wonderful than sharing love with Jeannie.  Seeing her each morning.  Coming home from work or travel and receiving her kiss and hug. Experiencing her unwavering encouragement and support. Having her as my confidant, counselor, truth teller, friend, and lover.  Precious in all these ways and more.

Second, love is purified.  I agree with whoever said that we must experience love twice to know it fully.  The first experience is to fall in love, with all the passion that “falling” includes: a “head-over-heels in love” kind of love.  “Crazy love.”  But amazing as it is, there must be more.  In the second experience, we climb into love.  We choose our beloved….and are chosen by our beloved. Climbing into love is where security is born, trust prevails, and a depth and breadth of love emerges which is larger and richer than falling in love can be.  Love is fired in the crucible of reality, moving from being clay to rock.  Purified and even more valuable.

Third, love is protected.  It is not subjected to harm or left vulnerable. Lover and beloved say to each other in a thousand ways, “I’ve got your back.”  Love is honored by fidelity and respect.  Each is the other’s favored one.  Lovers build strong towers and inhabit them against all odds and foes. Protected and never exposed to danger.

Finally, love is proclaimed.  Glen Campbell had a popular song decades ago about a couple in love who “fit together walking.”   One of the joys of our love is how often others refer to us as “Jeannie and Steve”–a unit, the deep kinship bond that the Bible calls a one-flesh relationship.  It is one thing to say, “We are in love,” it is an additional thing for others to recognize it.  It is the proclamation of oneness created and sustained by love.

Love is golden: precious, purified, protected, and proclaimed.  Fifty years on the path of life have confirmed it.  Oh, yes!  More to come!

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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