No, I’m not talking about my first car or some long lost pet. And those words can’t be found in an old-school country and western song, though I’m sure it sings. No, these words were uttered to me recently by a husband in mourning.
The individual in question had recently lost his wife of 29 1/2 years to cancer. Talking with him was both sobering and encouraging. As he reflected on his loss, he uttered those words and revealed the depth of his love for his wife.
He loved his wife. Thus, he misses her. There’s now a hole, if you will, in his life that his wife once occupied. For nearly 30 years she made her home in his heart, directed his passions, and made him a better man than he otherwise would have been. For that, he loved her. Now, understandably, he misses her.
The second half of his statement, the fact that he doesn’t want her back, might shock some. If he loves her so, why not want her back? In short, the answer is that he doesn’t want her back because he loves her. Because he loves her he would not deprive her of the eternal joy she shares in the presence of her Savior. Because he loves her he wouldn’t want her to suffer again in this earthy body. Because he loves her, he wants her to stay right where she is. Because he loves her, he looks forward to seeing her again where, as brother and sister in Christ, they will spend eternity worshiping her new husband, the Bridegroom of Heaven.Now, that’s love.
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About Peter Beck
Peter serves as assistant professor of religion at Charleston Southern University where he teaches church history and theology. While serving as senior pastor in Louisville, Ky., he completed his PhD in historic theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His dissertation, The Voice of Faith: Jonathan Edwards's Theology of Prayer, is soon to be published. He, his wife Melanie, and their two kids, Alex (12) and Karis (7), live near Charleston, SC. Peter's goal for his teaching and writing ministries is "love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith" (1 Tim 1:5).
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