‘To love and obey’, old words perhaps not used as much in marriage vows now, but their meaning is much deeper than first thought. Shaped by the words of God, they reflected a devotion born not out of blind obedience, but love. A love whose source is divine. This love overcomes fear, and stands in strong contrast to that which we see so often today. It pulls down hate, and lifts up hope in each other. Even when help seems hidden or distance, this love knows it will come.
But such love can only truly be cultivated by being in relationship with its Author.
‘There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?‘
(1 John 4:18 – 5:5)