Not long after I met Jackie, she told me about a young man, Luis, who was interested in her. The first time she met him, he had witnessed her baby daddy pushing her. Luis had quietly said, “He shouldn’t treat you that way.”
Jackie’s baby daddy was the life of every party; Luis was thoughtful. Jackie’s baby daddy was rough; Luis was gentle. Jackie’s baby daddy abandoned her; before long Luis asked Jackie to marry him.
When their wedding day arrived, my husband, Brad, and I met Jackie, her family, and Luis’s father at the courthouse. As we waited for the busy judge, I noticed Luis, as usual, was holding Jackie’s son and helping her to manage her active daughter. Luis was ready to be not only Jackie’s husband, but also her children’s Dad. Before leading Jackie and Luis in promising lifelong faithful love to each other, the judge read the love chapter from the Christian Bible over them.
“Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.”
Outside the courthouse, by a stand of evergreen trees, my husband took photographs of Jackie, Luis and her family. We gave Jackie and Luis a gift card for Olive Garden, expecting the newlyweds to use it for a romantic couple’s dinner. Instead they shared it with the whole family, ordering strategically so everyone could eat.
Luis’s love for Jackie can help us understand a little of how God’s love transforms us. “You are the ones chosen by God…to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.”
Application: Dear friend, by loving others, we can begin to transform their lives. The beginning of Jackie and Luis’s love story demonstrates the power of kind, quiet, faithful love. But, weary friend, every relationship will ultimately disappoint. God is the only one who can love us perfectly. Disappointments in other relationships can help us realize we need him.
What can you do to love someone in a way that transforms? How can you open yourself to the transforming love of God?