One of the things I enjoy about weddings is the sense of unity they create among even diverse peoples due to the fact that weddings give honour to the universally treasured virtue of love – love that has the power to not only join individuals, but extended families as well.

What is more wonderful than the joining of a man and a woman who, because they love each other, desire to become one for the rest of their lives!

What can be more inspiring than to witness a man and woman publicly declaring undying love for each other.

What is this love that would create such profound commitment?

How does this love express itself? What does it look like? How can we recognize it?

World renowned composer Arthur Hammerstein speaks of love not as something we have and keep, but as something that must be shared, when he writes…

A bell is not a bell unless you ring it.
A song is not a song unless you sing it.
Love in the heart is not there to stay.
Love is not love until you give it away.

Similarly, the book of I Corinthians, in the Bible, describes love in terms of the way we act…

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. … 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

The Biblical book of Colossians, chapter 3, continuing in this vein states…

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord.”

All who marry and desire a household filled with love and devotion know that these qualities in love are essential, as the Quran also teaches in 30:21:

“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace and tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts: Verily in that are signs for those who reflect”

Is it any wonder a modern song writer penned that “Love makes the world go round”?