I am Reverend Jones, the pastor of “Truth in living Christian Chapel.” I have been here twenty years and have counseled many people. Bill and Sarah came to the chapel a month ago and asked me to marry them. Sarah told me they had just moved from Houston to Virginia – Bill’s software company was expanding and he needed to be closer to Washington D.C. She also said they lived in separate houses: Sarah has strong beliefs, and understands if she moves in with Bill, his logic would tell him, “Why work for something, when you can get it for free.” Bill is unhappy about paying for two houses, but he dare not complain – Sarah left her house that was paid for in Houston. Another man who wanted to marry her had bought it for her, and he was not the only man that would give all he had to be with her.
Many men have offered Sarah gifts, and she has taken a couple; Bill made her give them back. This made Bill feel disrespected, and when a man feels disrespected, he feels unloved. Every wife should know that respecting her husband is very important. Sarah told him she was sorry, and she said it would never happen again. The situation really embarrassed Bill.
The wedding starts at 5:00 and it is 3:00. Bill and I are talking about how he feels.
“Rev. Jones, I’m stressed about getting married today. I’m having second thoughts.”
I had heard this story before, right before other men had called off their weddings. I asked Bill to walk with me in the garden behind the wedding chapel, where we could talk in private about his issue. As we started to walk, Bill told me,
“I’m not sure Sarah truly loves me or if she loves me like I love her?”
I understood Bill’s dilemma. Many people have asked the same question before, and his comment expressed that Bill lacked a well-rounded understanding of love. I asked Bill if he knew what love is. I watched his facial expressions change. He crossed his arms and said,
“Yes, it’s when you have strong feelings for someone.”
His attitude was that of an adolescent who felt challenged. I smiled, put my hands in my pockets, and said, “Bill, love is more than strong feelings and not everyone expresses or feels loved in the same way.”
He looked startled, and I knew he only comprehended a small part of what love was. At this point, I had to choose my words wisely; the subject of love can be painful to talk about for some. I knew we were about to have a dangerous conversation that could change how he felt about Sarah and how he viewed the love she had for him. It is my duty to tell him the truth, even if it means stopping the marriage – in the long run, it would benefit Sarah and him.