"We gather in faith..."

Teaching and commentary from our pastor, Bishop Francis J. Christian

Reflections

As 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.