I'll Die For You But Never To You

“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another”

Romans 12:10

Today is my oldest sister Beth and her husband Rob’s anniversary. Thinking of them and the love they share and the life they have built brings back memories of my own married life this morning. I can remember back to the summer of 2008 and my wife and I were celebrating our 25 wedding anniversary. I was sitting in an Anthropologie women’s clothing store in San Diego in what could have been hours while my wife combed the store (at least twice) which really seemed like no time at all as it gave me time to sit on one of their very cool and expensive sofa’s and read a book titled, “Love Letters” that they had for sale.

Actually, it wasn’t a book of letters but of quotes about love and as I sat there thumbing through it, it gave me ample time to consider many of the thoughts the book contained. Glancing up at my wife I could tell she was beginning to hurry as I’m pretty sure she thought I was wanting to go or at least she thought that I was tired of shopping. She never asked me if I was for had she, she would have discovered I wasn’t in a hurry at all. As a matter of fact, I was enjoying reading and more important to me, sitting there was allowing her however much time she wanted to peruse through every rack in the store, which she did. If my wife had to pick one store in which she had to purchase her clothes it would be Anthropologie.

One of the quotes I read that had my mind spinning was one from the movie, “Princess Bride”. The quote said,
Wesley: I told you I would come for you, why didn’t you wait?
Buttercup: I thought you were dead.
Wesley: Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.

You might be wondering what possible connection could there be between shopping and death? If you even have to ask that question you are not a man, as most men would associate shopping with death. After my wife and I left the store I asked my wife if she enjoyed the time spent shopping and she began to share with me her concerns that she was taking too long and that I might be growing impatient. I remember asking her what made her feel that way and had I given her some kind of unspoken signal that said, “let’s go”. If so, I had no idea what I had done because I was not watching the time at all. I was completely content sitting there on the sofas with the two or three children whose Mother’s made them sit there beside me while they shopped. My wife assured me it was all in her head and that I had done nothing wrong.

Our shopping experience led to a good conversation later that day about preferring others. My wife was trying to prefer me by not taking advantage of me and I was trying to prefer her by allowing her all the time she wanted without worrying about me. That led me to consider the quote I had read in the book in Anthropologie, “True love is willing to die for a person but true love never dies to a person.”

Preferring one another might mean a death to self but it will never be the death of the other person. Self-denial is life giving, never life taking. True love is willing to die for someone knowing that even if you did die, you would never be forgotten. Sacrificial love without strings or conditions always leaves an indelible mark that can never be erased. Studying for a brand new series in the book of Romans I am reminded afresh that Jesus died for us but He did not die to us. On the contrary, because of Jesus sacrificial death for us on Calvary’s Cross, life has come to us, and our hearts are able to open to God. True love draws us in, it never pushes us away. Jesus never died to us, He is very much aware of where we are at and what is going on in our lives, and He cares about us more than we could ever possibly know. That’s why I loved the quote from the movie, “Princess Bride” when Wesley said, “Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.” That reminds me of the gospel and the good news that Jesus is coming soon for His bride, for His love. Delayed in our eyes, yes, but God’s love will not be denied.

Don’t forget, beloved of God, true love is patient and though at times it might be delayed and we feel alone, we are never are abandoned when it comes to God’s love for us. Don’t ever forget, Jesus died for us but He never died to us! Keep this in mind today, nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

“and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”

2 Corinthians 5:15


Michael Osthimer





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