The “other” First John passage is an expression of Christian confidence before God. All of 1 John 3 treats the virtue of love as the hallmark of the believer. Lest anyone think the virtue of one’s expression of love is enough, the apostle reminds us that God’s grace already operates in us, and is the cause for our ability to love.
How does this work in the context of Christian marriage? Quite well, I would think. “God is greater than our hearts and knows everything,” we are told. person in love may well feel her or his love is quite powerful and profound. We do well to recall God is greater than that.
Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth.
Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth
and reassure our hearts before him
in whatever our hearts condemn,
for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence in God
and receive from him whatever we ask,
because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
And his commandment is this:
we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
and love one another just as he commanded us.
Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them,
and the way we know that he remains in us
is from the Spirit that he gave us.
Like much biblical advice, we are encouraged to live out the faith or the feelings we have within us. Good advice heading into a marriage, I would think. Expressing of the virtue of love is important. First, we get practice. Second, the “feeling” of love benefits from an “incarnation” of sorts: the feelings are translated into something concrete, measurable, and it builds the confidence in the relationship.
This is also a good reading for wedding couples because it puts the emphasis squarely on God and our reliance on him. But it doesn’t let us off the hook for doing hard work to maintain a relationship. All married people–and I put myself at the top of the list–would do well to remember this.
I love it!
Deed and truth especially truth
I also loved thia.
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We got married last week and had chosen the passage as one of the lectures: Surely – a Catholic couple receiving the Holy Sacrament of marriage always is (or at least should be) totally fallen in love for the other one. But we, my wife and I believe that there is also another point of view, an aspect we should remember especially at this “perfect moment”:
We are not alone. God is with us, He gave us all we are and we always can have confidence in our Lord. But that love is not a one-way-street: He gives us also a commandment, the commandment to believe in Jesus Christus and the commandment to love each other the way He showed us. There will be no fullfillment without of that divine grace without living that love by sharing it and working for it, looking and probably finding new aspects every day in our life and preserving that love the Lord put in our heart as a gift we have not only to conservate like a good wine, waiting and hoping that the years will make it better and better, but also to work hard to maintain it all our lifetime.
So, that love also is a duty: the author underlines the importance of believing in Jesus Christus and the way he loved us. Now, it’s up to us to give back a little bit of that love we receive by Him every single day in our life.
We have chosen these words to be remembered: “Don’t sit down and wait, God wants to see you working for a successful marriage, for a vivid Catholic community and wants you to try to give back what He gave to you – His eternal love. Give back!”
Congratulations on your wedding, and blessings in the years ahead.