Here's one spiritual gift you would never think of as promoting a loving relationship.
Here's one spiritual gift you would never think of as promoting a loving relationship. (iStockPhoto)

Do You Know the Most Recited Bible Verse at Weddings?  

I don't know for sure the most recited verse, but I have a pretty good idea, and I think you will agree with me, the famous love verse in 1 Corinthians 13 makes its way into a lot of summer weddings.

Although, how many people know the verse which immediately follows this Scripture? Probably not that many, and the reality is it could be the secret to long-lasting, healthy relationships. Read on to find out more!

So let's dive right into it! The verse which follows 1 Corinthians 13, says this,

"Follow after love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy" (1 Cor. 14:1).

It's not too surprising the pastor stops before this verse. Saying to "eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially prophecy" is a little out there for the light-hearted, joyous wedding.

Paul, the writer of Corinthians goes onto the say that prophecy is for the strengthening, encouragement and comfort of God's church.

In short, we are meant to speak aloud God's heart for His people, to His people.

Often prophecy can seem like a word that's only used to describe the spiritual giants of the past, or the super weird Christians of today. Yet Paul directs this verse to the whole body of Christ (that's you and me).

He is encouraging us to speak into being the truth, love, and grace we hear, sense, and feel God is saying to us. If we need to double check if it's words God would actually say, we can confirm them with Paul's checklist.

Is it strengthening, encouraging and comforting God's people?

Paul could have said anything after he unleashes the famous love chapter.

He could have said, "Follow they way of love and desire spiritual gifts, especially service."

"Follow the way of love and desire spiritual gifts, especially hope." 

"Follow they way of love and desire spiritual gifts, especially generosity."

"Follow they way of love and desire spiritual gifts, especially sacrifice.

"Follow the way of love and desire spiritual gifts, especially _______________."

Yet as Paul looked at the church and the hearts of the people (which are no different than our hearts today), he said, "If you want to pursue and press forward in the way of love, then speak truth to one another in prophecy" (MSG).

In the simplest of terms, Paul is saying...

Your VOICE is POWERFUL. It can be a weapon of love or of pain and hurt.

I recently read an article where a woman stated the verbal abuse she endured in the marriage was more painful and difficult to work through than the physical abuse.

This isn't the first time I've heard this, and I am sure you still have words that ring through your head that someone said to you years ago, maybe even decades ago.

All to say, our words carry force and the way to follow love is to keep speaking love to one another.

I wonder how many marriages would have stayed together, how many relationships would stick it out, if only they continue to follow this way of love.

Since Adam and Eve first fell in the garden, there has been a battle for our voices, whether it's collectively or individually, the enemy knows the power we carry.

Paul knew it too.

He knew when you make love your destination, then speaking truth, life and blessing becomes a natural reaction.

God used His voice to create the world, and to create us as well. He was modeling the key to our destiny and the secret to healthy relationships. To speak aloud truth, encouragement, destiny, life and, most of all, love.

And the good news is, if you have a wedding or two to attend this summer you will more than likely get a reminder of what the word of love truly means as hear 1 Corinthians 13 recited once again!

So pay attention, you might walk away with more than just a party favor!

Mikaela Kate is passionate to see YOU reach your full God-given potential! Her heart is to inspire the next generation to discover who they are and what they are made to do. There is a unique VOICE locked within you, Mikaela Kate is authorized to RELEASE it!

A speaker, writer, and coach, Mikaela Kate has invested seven years in developing leaders from college-age men and women. Conducting Bible studies, women's groups, and young adult teams she encourages others to go further and higher—taking their gifts, passions, and skills to the next level!

A graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in marketing, she discovered her love for strategic thinking, big picture ideas and meeting people where they are. These skills and passions later equipped her to plant a church with five other staff members (Veritas Church, Iowa City, Iowa). 

From there she moved to Sheffield, England, and worked as the Young Adults Leader at St. Thomas Philadelphia. While in England her passion for America grew and her desire to see her native land transformed for Jesus ignited. She sees people living out their God-given purpose as a key to the transformation of this nation. Mikaela currently lives in South Carolina and is an active member of The Father's House Church.


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