"We gather in faith..."
Teaching and commentary from our pastor, Bishop Francis J. Christian
ReflectionsAs the old song goes, "Love and marriage, love
and marriage, go together like a horse and
carriage". But unless you are Amish, you don't
see many horses and carriages anymore. Perhaps
that's why marital love in so badly understood by
many in our society. In his classic work MERE
CHRISTIANITY C.S. Lewis has an interesting
take on it. I offer it for your consideration.
In an old fairy-tale ending 'They lived happily ever
after' is taken to mean 'They felt for the next fifty
years exactly as they felt the day before they were
married', then it says what probably never was nor
ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable
if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement
for even five years? What would become of your
work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships?
But, of course, ceasing to be 'in love' need not mean
ceasing to love. Love in this second sense - love as
distinct from 'being in love' - is not merely a feeling.
It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and
deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in
Christian marriages) the grace which both partners
ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love
for each other even at those moments when they do
not like each other; as you love yourself even when
you do not like yourself. They can retain this love
even when each would easily, if they allowed
themselves, be 'in love' with someone else. 'Being in
love' first moved them to promise fidelity: this
quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is
on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being
in love was the explosion that started it.