This is, after all, a love story.
Why else would love be the deepest yearning of our hearts? Isn’t love the greatest joy of human existence? And the loss of love our greatest sorrow? Do not the two great commands confirm this? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart ... and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). Love, for this is your destiny. Love God, and love each other. The banners that fly over God’s kingdom are the banners of love. It’s not about Bible study and faithful church attendance, not even dutiful marriage. Take the heart out of all that and it will absolutely kill you. This story is meant to be a passionate love affair. “I have loved you,” God says, “with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).
We live in a love story, a romance written before the foundations of the earth. Aren’t the most impassioned pleas of the Bible directed toward love?
“Love one another sincerely, from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22)
“Beloved, let us love one another.” (1 John 4:7)
“A new command I give you—love one another.” (John 13:34)
You begin to get the sense that love is central to this story. We are urged to love, commanded to love, warned to love, implored to love. With abandon. Over and over and over again.