In The End

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

Today my wife and I celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary and like a line from the card I gave her said, “Its the ordinary days that we look back on with such extraordinary love” and its true. I can’t remember everything that has happened over the course of our life together, heck, somethings we deliberately choose not to remember. For me, I don’t remember years that’s for certain, but what I do remember are moments and looking back over the last 38 years of my life another old saying has proven itself true that goes like this, “When all is said and done what is said and done in love is what remains.” Isn’t that what the apostle Paul was saying in 1 Corinthians 13 when he penned for us the beautiful description of what love is?

I am far from perfect and yet my wife and I share a perfect love for the simple fact that God is love. As I look back over the last 38 years and the dust settles what has brought us this far and what keeps us going are what Paul wrote to the Corinthian church. The secret to a great relationship, marriage or otherwise isn’t perfection, but rather a commitment to living and walking in faith and hope and love because in the end these virtues are all that remain. Every lasting relationship is made up of these three elements. Faith that there is a God and that God is good and everything He does is for His glory and our ultimate good. The Bible doesn’t say all things are good. Our marriage has experienced tremendous highs, wonderful moments so beyond good like the birth of our three children being the pinnacle and then watching our children have children of their own and as well. I don’t know if there is anything better than grandchildren than maybe great grand children. And yet, my wife and I have in our marriage experienced our share of lows where sin and selfishness blinded our decision making process. And yet its faith in God and His faithfulness that has given us the ability to look beyond the present moments of both pleasure and pain and to keep pressing on to what lies ahead. My marriage and my life have been blessed because I am married to a woman of faith.

Hope, not hope like, “I hope it works out” or “I hope to one day…” but rather hope of biblical proportions that understands with confident assurance that hope doesn’t disappoint regardless of the present circumstances. The hope that the apostle Paul speaks of is assured because of its connection to faith in the faithfulness of God Himself. In other words there has to be an object of our faith. We don’t have faith in our faith but rather we place our faith and trust in God. There is an old saying that says, “A man can go 6 weeks without food, 6 days without water, 6 minutes without oxygen but a man cannot live 6 seconds without hope.” It’s true, when one loses or gives up hope, it’s over and I thank God today that I am married to a woman who never gives up hope.

Love, the apostle Paul says is the greatest of these three virtues for all the reasons he lays out in the preceding verses of chapter 13. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Paul writes, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” From reading that definition of love no wonder the apostle says love is the greatest, and it’s true. Today, on our 38th wedding anniversary I thank God for my wife who I know from her actions and not just her words towards me, loves me.

God is love and when you and I love we are manifesting God in our lives. As I look back over 38 years of marriage today I am reminded a fresh today that love isn’t a feeling, its a choice and if I could go back and live my life over again knowing what I know now I would choose my wife all over again, I would choose us. Yes, loved one, the greatest gift is love, God’s love, and today I am more thankful than ever for His love that I have found and keep finding year after year in the woman God fashioned for me. My wife is living proof that Jesus loves me! I am the lucky one!

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.”

Proverbs 18:22


Michael Osthimer





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