Friendship, Romance, and So Much More…

     Friday, June 8th , my husband and I remembered the vows we exchanged in a sweet church ceremony 39 years ago.

     The foundation of Ron’s and my marriage was one built on strong friendship. When I met my husband-to-be, I was reeling emotionally from a devastating divorce. I wasn’t looking for another husband, but immediately, I liked the tall, lanky guy with a bushy reddish beard and mellow baritone voice. I was drawn to kind and wise words he spoke.

     I wasn’t in a very trusting mood at that phase of my journey, but in retrospect, I realize I knew instinctively Ron was a trustworthy man. For over two years, we forged an enduring friendship. Before romance dawned—while love grew gently—we learned to appreciate shared values.

     Ron had never married, and I knew he was ready to settle down and create a family. Because he was my friend, and because true friends want what’s best for a cherished acquaintance, I prayed God would give him a good wife. Seriously, I kept my eyes open for such a woman, but no one ever seemed ‘good enough!’

     One day, quite unexpectedly on my commute to work, I sensed a deep knowing. My life was about to change, and I felt certain Ron would be part of that change. I decided I’d try to nudge our friendship ‘up a notch.’ My nudging worked, and within a short time, we realized we’d fallen in love and wanted to make the plunge into marriage.

     I’d be lying if I said our marriage has always been smooth sailing. We have in fact weathered a variety of storms. Yet, thirty-nine years after saying, “I do,” my husband remains my dearest friend and oh, so much more! I cherish the idea of growing old with my man!

     Friendships, I believe, are God’s good idea, flowing out of divine love. The New Testament was written originally in Greek, and sometimes the English translation misses subtle differences of the original language. Take the word “love” for example. The Greek differentiates types of love, including:

  • Phileo love involves a strong liking or friendship
  • Eros love is romantic love
  • Agape love is a deep, deliberate love rooted in God’s love

     The journey of love Ron and I have traveled began as phileo. Eventually, it transitioned into eros. The covering over both—the so much more—has been agape.

     1 Corinthians 13 is called the “Love Chapter.” Portions of this scripture are often used at weddings and paint a clear picture of God’s design for true love. Every ‘love’ reference is translated accurately as agape, so this description of love reaches far beyond the newlywed.

     Here’s how the writer describes agape love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT):

Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable, and
it keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice but
rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up,
never loses faith,
is always hopeful, and
endures through every circumstance.

     Today’s post is a celebration of friendship, romance and the so much more of deep, deliberate agape love…

May your day be filled with many agape moments!

Sue Reeve