Who Do You Choose?
She looked at him, confused by his reaction. She had worked hard on these vows. “Something wrong?” she asked.
“Well, there are a few things… what did you mean by this line?” He pointed to the first line on the print out. “I love you, and choose you above all other men. Even when I flirt and play with other men, know that it’s you I choose.”
“What do you mean what do I mean? I mean I choose you to be my husband.”
“But what about the “other men” part? Are you saying you’re going to have relationships with other men?”
“Of course. Other men are all around. It would be crazy to think I would refuse to accept them. That would make me snobbish, wouldn’t it?”
“But I want your whole devotion.”
“Aww.. you sound jealous.”
“That’s because I am. I want you to set yourself apart for me. To love me more than anyone else. To be totally committed to me. To be faithful to me, just as I am with you.”
“I do. I am. Even though I love others too, I love you the most. What’s wrong with that?”
“If you go after other men, you’re not being faithful to me.”
“That’s a matter of opinion. I think I would still be faithful to you because I would be married to you. I wouldn’t marry anyone else. If I did, THEN I wouldn’t be faithful.”
“You’d be sharing your affection with other men. I want to be special to you. I want you to have all your affection focused on me.”
“So you’re saying I can’t love anyone else?”
“Not with your whole heart. I don’t want to be just one of the people you love.”
“I already said I loved you the most. What else do you want?
He sighed. “Let’s drop that for now. What about this other line?” He read aloud, “I promise to honor your values when I’m with you.”
“Oh, that means that I promise to do what’s important to you, to look at things your way.”
“That part is great. But what about the “when I’m with you” part?”
“Because I want to make you happy when we’re together.”
“And what about when you’re not with me?”
“Why would you care what I do when I’m not around you? You won’t be there to see it.”
“That’s not the point. I thought you agreed with my values.”
“I do, most of the time. But sometimes things aren’t so clear. And values in other places are different than yours. If I stuck to your values in those places, it would create problems. People would feel I was being biased or prejudices or critical or something. There wouldn’t be any peace. And you love peace. So by adopting their values when I’m with them, I’m actually living out one of your values.”
He shook his head. “I think you might be confused.”
“No, I just know what’s important.”
“It would also make you hypercritical. You should live by the same values wherever you are.”
“I do. I live by my values.”
Shaking his head again, he pointed to the paper. “I promise to spend as much time with you as I can.” “As I can?” he quoted.
“Well, sure. I can’t spend all my time with you, can I? That wouldn’t be healthy. I need to spend time getting to know other people, other ideas, other personalities, other beliefs, other…”
“I get it. So how much time would you give me?”
“Oh, at least an hour every day, and maybe a couple of hours on the weekend.”
“There’s a lot of stuff to think about. I don’t think I could give you more time. But I promise to think about you more than any one other thing.”
He put the paper down. “So far you have promised to love me as long as you get to love other men too. And you promised to live by my values but only when you are with me. And you promised to spend a small part of each day with me, fitting me in around all your other pursuits. Do I have that right?”
She frowned and pouted her lips. “You make it sound so bad. It’s not really. It’s all about you. I love you. I choose you. Nothing else I do should matter.”
“But it does. I want you to love me with your whole heart, to desire me above all things, to keep me the center of your life, to set yourself apart for me, and to live by my values.”
“That sounds more extreme than it needs to be.”
“My love for you is extreme. My love for you is so much deeper than you can imagine. I long to be with you all day, every day. I long to give you riches beyond your understanding. And I desire for you to return my love. However I’m not going to force you. You can choose to walk away if you want. But if you choose to stay, then loving me with your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength is what I require.”
“Require? That’s kind of strong, don’t you think?”
“Yes, require. It comes down to what you want: life with me, or death of our relationship. I love you, and want to give you all I have. I want us to be together forever. But I am not going to force you to choose life with me. It’s important to me that whatever you to choose is of your own free will. ”
She shook her head. She knew he intensely loved her and that he owned a lot that he promised to give her. And she had to admit no one could love her the way he did, or fill her with such a deep and satisfying joy. She did return his love, at least as much as she was able, but did she love him enough to choose him over her own wants? Was she willing to give up the world for him?
Finally she asked, “Why can’t I have both? You and your world, and me and mine? It’s not so hard to compromise on where we differ.”
“No. You either want me – all of me – or you don’t. You can’t have it both ways. You need to make a decision, and now is a good time. Who do you choose?”
We have each been asked this question by our Maker, who calls us to be His bride.
Who do YOU chose?
Mark 12:29-30 Jesus replied, “This is the most important: ‘Hear O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is One, and you shall love the LORD your god with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not from the Father but from the world.
James 4:4 You adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever chooses to be a friend of the world renders himself an enemy of God.
Romans 5:8 But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Ephesians 3:17-19 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Then you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of His love, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God….
Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Exodus 34:14 for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
Hebrews 4:7 again he appoints a certain day, ‘Today,’ saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
Joshua 24:15 and if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”