In 1928, Temple Gairdner wrote a poem called Prayer for a Fiancée or Wife. I heard it in a sermon by one of our elders last week. It’s a profound prayer, and I think you’ll see that it relates to more than just marriage.
That I may come near to her,
draw me nearer to thee than to her;
that I may know her,
make me to know thee more than her;
that I may love her with the perfect love
of a perfectly whole heart.
Cause me to love thee more than her and most of all.
That nothing may be between me and her,
be thou between us, every moment.
That we may be constantly together,
draw us into separate loneliness with thyself.
And when we meet breast to breast, my God,
let it be on thine own. Amen. Amen.
I wish I had this poem for when I preached on the command, “You shall have no other gods before me,” earlier this summer. But at least I have it for future weddings I conduct.
It reminds me of these words by C.S. Lewis:
When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. In so far as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.
God save us from idols so we can love him more, and enjoy all of his gifts as well.