Tag Archives: Fiddler on the roof

Do you love me? Is it really true?

Tevye, the colorful character from Fiddler on the Roof, leans over quietly and asks his wife, “Do you love me?” She screams in reply, “Do I WHAT?!” “Do you love me?” he asks again with genuine concern. She goes into an indignant tirade of how she bore his children, cooked his meals, washed his clothes, and so many other chores she’s done in 25 years. Acknowledging her many expressions of love, he gently repeated, “But do you love me?” Quietly she admitted, “I guess I do love you.” Teasingly, he replied, “Then I guess I love you too.” Together they sigh saying, “After 25 years. it’s nice to know.”

How do you know love is true? Is it by the repetition of those three little words, “I love you?” (Or perhaps those other three: “I was wrong!”) Or is it in the consistent demonstration of loving acts? We could say “both” and be closest to the truth. But neither words alone nor actions by themselves are the true test of live, are they? We can, and sometimes do, speak idle words and perform repeated acts of service more in response to duty than true love.

But somehow, our hearts are able to confirm what eyes have seen and lips have spoken. Here comes a time when the heart knows for sure what the mind has only acknowledged to be true.

“In sickness and in health” has a way of testing true love. Marcia and I have experienced this to be true through this long and unexpected journey brought cancer. In face of adversity, true love finds both gentleness and strength. It learns the value in f commitment and persevering and also humble surrender. Whatever we knew as star struck lovers 44 years ago has been positively confirmed to be true in a much deeper sense than we ever could have imagined.

The same is true about God’s Word which is his love letter to you and me. At some point we come to acknowledge that God IS God and his Word is inherently true. we know it in our minds, confirm it with our lips, and believe it in our heart. And yet there is a deeper sense of knowing God’s true love that comes only by experiencing it through difficult trials. I’ve commented before that I would t have chosen this journey through cancer, BUT I’ve discovered along its path blessings I would never have discovered on a more comfortable road. Whereas once I “knew” God’s live and Word to be true in my mind and heart, now I know it to be true through the experience of his grace, his power to persevere, the comfort of his promise and the real hope in his faithful promises. That he loves me – and you – is undeniably evidenced both in times of rejoicing and times of sorrow and pain. Even if I had none of this, the price his Son Jesus paid for the forgiveness of my sins was evidence enough of his great love. Our God is a good God. His banner over me is mercy and love.

But is the “flip side” also true? How should we reply when Jesus asks us what he asked his disciple Peter, “Do you love me?” Is it sufficient to go about dutiful good deeds like Tevye’s wife Golde? Or is it sufficient to say the words in prayer and song? Deep down we know true love is expressed not only by simple words or sacrificial deeds. It’s known by all that flows from a humble heart that gives a sacrifice of praise and a life yielded completely to him, no holds barred, no distractions.

He’s asking, “Do you really love me? Is it really true?” How will you respond today?

Do you (really) love me?



In one scene from Fiddler On The Roof, Tevye ask his wife of 25 years, “Do you love me?” She exclaims, “Do I love you?!” She lists all the things she has done for him in the course of their marriage. Affirming this, Tevye asks again, “Yes, but do you love me?” She ponders 25 years of living with and taking care of this man, concluding with a sigh that she does indeed love him.


God asked this same question of you and me every day. Like Tevye’s wife we might answer in amazement, “Are you kidding? I go to church. I give money. I read the bible and pray …at least a few minutes every day.” And quietly, God replies, “Yes, but do you love me?”


We’re reminded of Peter’s experience with this same question. Three times Jesus asks Peter with increasing intensity. By the third time, I imagine Peter’s eyes were filled with tears, remembering how much indeed he did love Jesus, though his behaviors had contradicted that love. Jesus wasn’t looking to ‘beat up’ Peter for his mistakes. He was looking to renew Peter’s fellowship with Him. I think He is asking us the same questions:


Do you love me… enough to trust me?
Sometimes it’s hard to trust. Of all the rooms in our life, the waiting room is perhaps the most difficult. Presented with lots of pain and anxiety but few answers, we’re quickly tempted to try any door marked “exit!” We just want to escape. But the question rings in our ears: “Do you love me enough to trust me, your sovereign God, even while you wait?”


Do you love me… enough to obey me?
Here’s the truth: we obey what we love and really trust. A reporter once scoffed mother Teresa saying, “How can you expect to be successful ministering to all the poor and hurting people?! There are too many!” She responded with truth, “I’m not called to be successful, only faithful.” And the question burns in our ears, “Do you love me enough to obey in faith?”


Do you love me… enough to abide in me?
Marcia and I have always enjoyed spending time together, but the cancer journey further enhanced our appreciation of simply abiding together. God wants us to abide in Him wherever we go, whatever we do. It doesn’t matter if it’s doing the dishes or paying the bills. Abiding implies contentment and satisfaction. “Do you love me and find satisfaction when abiding in me?”
As we conclude this week of emphasis on the Go Light Our World missions, we invite you to partner with GLOW in regular times of prayer and through your tax-deductible gifts. Beyond that, we invite you to consider your relationship with Jesus.  LOVE is the mark of a devoted Christian. Let your love be marked by your faith-in-action. Let your answer be always, “Yes Lord!”  Because if it is not ‘yes’, to Him, then who is Lord in your life?