When a young man falls in love with a young woman, he often resorts to very extravagant language to express his emotion. He may say, “I would climb the highest mountain, I would swim the deepest river, I would walk through fire for you.” He may even say, “I would die for you.” And everyone knows-especially the young woman if she is at all smart-that he doesn’t mean anything of the kind. These are only figures of speech that he is using. In fact, in nine cases out of ten, at the first sign of suffering, the young man disappears in a cloud of dust-never to be heard from again. We could ignore all of this except for the very troubling fact that this concept of “suffering love” is built into the very heart of Scripture. And, it is built into the very heart of the Christian life. If we really love another person, we will be willing to suffer with him and for him.…
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