If You Love It, Then Marry It
by Katherine Hutchinson Hayes
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear Children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth”
(1 John 3:16-18, NIV).
I love all my siblings, but I have a special affinity for the youngest. As the eldest, I melt when it comes to “Baby-David,” as he’s still affectionately called even though he’s in his thirties. Growing up, I tried to give him whatever he loved. While in high school and college, I often babysat him. I brought him everywhere and when I moved out and began a family of my own, he often spent weekends with me. What I adored about David was his quick wit, athletic abilities, and the way he combined both.
Once while playing catch, I told him, “I love the way you throw.”
He replied, “If you love it, then marry it.”
I’d say, “I love this baseball glove.”
He’d say, “If you love it, then marry it.”
I later discovered, my parents had told him when people are in love, they get married. He’d surmised that love equated to marriage.
As a five-year-old, David had taken the concept of love and marriage out of context. He believed I could marry an inanimate object or idea based on what he’d been taught. He’d heard me profess love for a lot of things: playing catch, the way he threw, baseball gloves, coffee, and so on. However, David hadn’t made the connection between what it meant to demonstrate actionable love as described in the word of God. David couldn’t understand why I couldn’t marry the objects of my affection.
When I think about this funny story it prompts me to ask myself whether I give honor to God with my spoken and written words. If I love God, have I married or committed myself to him? Have I devoted myself to his precepts and principles? Do I demonstrate my love for God in the way I treat others, speak, write, and present myself as a Christian author?
We say we love Starbucks, the Green Bay Packers, fresh-squeezed lemonade on a hot summer afternoon, and of course, we love to be loved. Can we say we demonstrate God’s love in our messages?
Do we love the unlovable? Do we love our neighbors, even the ones who don’t look like us, worship like us, or belong to the same political party? What is this love God wants Christians to show? I can assure you it isn’t the same love we have for our favorite coffee! At a time in our world when love is tossed around like a baseball and applied to almost everything, it doesn’t come close to the love Jesus demonstrated by laying his life down for us.
Dear God, help me to examine my heart for areas of hardness toward others. Show me how to devote my writing, heart, and life to you. Help me to demonstrate love in my writing to glorify you. Amen.
Katherine is a counselor, consultant, author, and owns an event-planning business. Her art and writing are distinguished by awards including the New York Mayor’s Contribution to the Arts, Outstanding Resident Artist of Arizona, and Foundations Awards at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference. Katherine loves speaking to groups, delivering messages with quick wit and real-life stories. Connect at https://drkatherinehayes.com/ or https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Little-Black-Dress-Women/dp/1365056163