Keeping Love Alive

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
— 1 Peter 4:8 NIV

In a day of easy divorce, throwaway marriages, and prenuptial agreements, it is refreshing to read about people like Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher. Recognized by Guinness Book of World Records as the nation’s longest married couple, Herbert and Zelmyra kept the knot tied for eighty-six years!

If twenty-five years is a silver anniversary, and fifty years is a golden anniversary, eighty-six years must be double platinum!

How in the world does anyone keep love alive through nine decades? Through wrinkles and faded beauty, missing memories and missing teeth, through heartaches and backaches … or years of snoring for that matter? Herbert and Zelmyra have some answers.  God does too!

God is passionate about keeping love alive in EVERY relationship: in families and businesses, in churches and schools, among neighborhood friends and mere acquaintances. Here's what he says:

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
— 1 Peter 1:22 NIV
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
— 1 Peter 4:8 NIV

In a 2010 interview, a year before Herbert passed at 105, an interviewer asked: "What was the best piece of marriage advice you ever received?" The Fishers replied,

Respect, support and communicate with each other. Be faithful, honest and true. Love each other with ALL of your heart.

Relationships thrive when we love others deeply from the heart. Love's power conquers a litany of irritating things that threaten to drive wedges between us:

  • Annoying habits
  • Forgotten appointments
  • Simple misunderstandings
  • Harsh words
  • Deliberate unkindness

Love lives on any time we cover the foolishness and failures of others. This is not easy, but God supplies what God requires. Peter directs us to the source of love's strength. He writes:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5 ESV

My love is driven by his love -- his great mercy and his great power. As I reflect on what he has done and lean into the power he supplies, I can give the love he requires when it is easy and when it is hard.

And that is good news for a married relationship or any relationship! It is good news on Valentine's Day or on any day!