(This is a re-post from my other Blog)
Someone once pointed out that love is a living thing. It is not a piece of stone than can be set in a corner to be picked up again when convenient, nor is it a vessel, which, once filled, can be capped and set safely on the shelf. Love is a living thing. Living things require nourishment, or they begin to die. Living things respond to stimuli, either moving towards those things, which bring growth and pleasure, or avoiding those things, which hurt or damage. Living things can suffer pain or injury; and if the injury is too severe, they can be crippled or die.
Could this partially explain the soaring divorce rates around the world? Can this be why within the months of emotional heights present in courtship, some couples find themselves tumbling into deep chasms of bitterness and disenchantment? Is it that their love before marriage was weak and artificial? Or is it that they have assumed that love, when finally won, was theirs with no further effort?
Too often, we nurture love during courtship with a thousand little sacrifices. We worry and fret over its growth, we protect it with fierce devotion; but then, when the plant has matured and bloomed, and we give it no further thought except to view with growing dismay until the time its leaves droop and its flowers wither and die.
There are numerous reasons for the neglect of love in marriage: children come, occupations are pursued, habits form, bills accrue, problems mount, the image of marital joy fades.
How easy it is to put the things which are most important at the mercy of things which are less so. Too quickly, we lose sight of the priorities of our life.
Harold B. Lee once said that the most important thing a man could do for his children was to love their mother; and he added, “A woman happy with her husband is better for her children than a hundred books on child welfare.”
Marriage presupposes total allegiance and total fidelity. Each spouse take the partner with total understanding that he or she gives totally to the spouse all the heart, strength, loyalty, honor, and affection, with all dignity. Any divergence is sin; any sharing of the heart is transgression. As we have an eye single to the glory of God, ‘so should we have an eye, an ear, a heart single to the marriage and the spouse and the family.
How then do we then maintain the power of love after marriage? How do we ‘keep the fire burning’?
- Love even as Christ love;
- Express love in what we say and do;
- Sense of humor brings smiles and laughter in marriage;
- Love begets love: Courtesy begets courtesy – so be courteous with each other;
- Love answers love;
- Understand that marriage is the beginning, and not the end, of courtship. So continue courting each other;
- Don’t let a day pass without saying “I Love You …” Say it while you can … while there’s still time …
- Give 100% to marriage, not 50-50;
- Be Selfless …
These are easier said than done. The point is – it’s hard, not impossible.
So, if we truly want the best things in life, we will not mind pursuing them at all. It will never be easy, however, as a saying goes … it will be worth it!