He loved her, without a doubt.
Soren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher of the 19th Century, wrote of a dilemma faced by a king who loved a humble maiden. He was a great king and could have whatever he wanted. Foreign states trembled at his power. Every statesman feared his wrath. All would send ambassadors to his wedding.
He realized that if he asked the members of his court about following through on marrying this humble woman that they would respond, “Your majesty is about to confer an honor upon the maiden for which she can never be sufficiently grateful her whole life long!”
The dilemma was simple: Even if she did want to come with him and join him in marriage, he could never be sure that she loved him for himself. He wrestled and agonized in his mind.
Finally he decided. If she could not come up to his high station in life and be sure to love him freely, he must descend to hers. He must descend stripped of all royalty and power, for only then would he know that his beloved loved him freely, as equals.
The king made his choice: he laid aside all his power and privileges and came to her as her equal, for the sole purpose of winning her love.
Thirty-five years ago this Sunday, July 21, I married my best friend, Doug Johns. Every day I thank God for his love, his laughter, and the joy that he brings to my heart and soul. Words cannot express my gratitude for his presence in my life and in the life of our family.
May God richly bless you and those whom you love.
Your Servant in Christ,