A Voyage of Love and Communication1 John 4:12 says it this way: “No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another God remains in us, and His love is brought to perfection in us.” So I believe then that our love for our spouse can be a great evidence of God’s existence. 1 John 4:8 says “Who ever is without love does not know God, for God is love.” While my wife and I traveled together for the last two weeks we were blessed to come to know each other more fully and in doing so we came to know God more deeply as well.
Some time back I was offered the opportunity to give the guest lecture on a cruise ship on the subject of estate planning. Since my wife and I celebrated our 35th anniversary in December we decided to make this trip our anniversary gift to each other as well. So yes it is true, I did in fact work a few hours on the two week cruise, but we had the balance of the time to spend being away in the company of each other, growing in love and growing in love of our Lord.
The Gospels tell us in, Mt. 14:23 and Mk. 6:46 that Jesus would take time away to pray. Prayer is communication. So in order to perfect His relationship with the Father, in order to know His Father’s will, Jesus took time away to communicate with Him. If it is good enough for Jesus it should also be good enough for us.
I have read that many marriage counselors say marriages fall apart because couples focus on everything but each other. Daily life can put forth all kinds of distractions. By getting away we can focus on talking and truly listening to each other. Traveling together as a couple gives us time to make lasting memories. So we took advantage of this speaking opportunity for work, to enjoy a trip of a lifetime.
Early in our marriage my wife and I watched a video that depicted at eighty year old couple. The wife was eating an ice cream cone while sitting on a swing set. Her elderly husband was pushing her on the swing. Both of them had huge smiles. This image was planted in both of us and we have prayed together that our marriage would be like this couple. To arrive in our senior years like this couple did, we as married couples need to know each other. We must see God in our spouse to be fully in love.
Have you ever dreamed of sailing on a romantic sailing ship to exotic islands? I have. Well that is the adventure we were just blessed with. We sailed out of Civitavecchia Italy, just outside of Rome for a two week adventure on the world’s tallest 5 mast clipper ship. We visited many ports in the Mediterranean Sea. Many of these ports we the cradle of Christianity, like Malta where Paul was imprisoned. We also had the opportunity to attend Sunday mass in Calvi, Corsica, and be there for First Communion day for the little children. We took the time also to pray together at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel. You see, rather than making it the “type A” go, go, go vacation, we made time to talk, relax and be in love. We took time away to get to know each other more completely and in doing so we came to realize more of the blessings of God in our lives. We made time away at each port for long lunches together in meaningful conversation about the important things that really matter in life. God revealed us more completely to each other so that we might more fully love each other.
None of us knows how long we have here on this earth. Some who are reading this may already have had their love of their life go on to be with our Heavenly Father. Others reading this may have a spouse battling a serious illness. Some of you may be dealing with troubled times in your marriage, and sadly some of you may have experienced the pain of a divorce. Since we don’t know how much time we have, we must take the time to make the most of our time together. For those of you not yet married, I hope you might find some wisdom in what I am sharing with you. By knowing your spouse and loving your spouse you will in fact know God. For those of you who have been called to a life as a single person, God can reveal Himself to you if you take time away from the busyness of life to pray.
Once again God has blessed my wife and me. He never ceases to amaze us. We pray as a couple that you too, can make time to get away and fall in love with each other and with Jesus our Lord and Savior. We prayed for each of you as we knelt together at St. Peters. Let there be no doubt, “whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love!”
I would be remiss if I did not thank my dear friends Pastor Lee Norris and Bob Lange for writing the 4thdayletter while I was away. I am blessed to have such God loving friends in my life. I am sure you all enjoyed their insights as I did.
May God bless you and grant you the time away to fall in love with each other and with Him. Amen