In our society today, the word ‘love’ is highly overused and abused. We don’t take it seriously. “Oh I just LOVE pizza! I LOVE Elvis! I LOVE the way that dress looks on you!” I’m sure you get the idea.
Love is a word we too eagerly express when influenced by our emotional mood. It is thrown around casually in many relationships and then easily discarded if the emotional mood doesn’t “feel” right.
We start out with every intention of loving our spouse, forever. Why do we struggle with the “forever” part?
I believe God initially supplies the attraction, the giddiness, and overwhelming feelings of love in the beginning, to bring couples together. This kind of love is a shallow, physical love that motivates us to want to go deeper and learn everything about each other. It causes us to want to spend every moment together, to marry, and to share the rest of our lives.
Marriage cannot thrive on this kind of love alone. Because this is such an exciting aspect of the love relationship though, we need to learn how to keep it alive when we do marry. We cannot do that unless we maintain a healthy marriage first and learn what true love really means. Only then can we sustain it "forever".
One of my favorite movies is “The Notebook.” James Garner plays a man who lives in the same nursing home as his Alzheimers stricken wife, just to be near her. He adores her and lives for the five minutes when she might remember him again.
James Garner’s character reintroduces himself to his wife every day and spends his time reading the same book to her. One time she remembers him briefly, and they dance together while declaring their love. As her memory fades, she panics when she discovers she’s in the arms of a stranger. She has to be sedated to calm down.
At one point his daughter says to him, “Daddy, come home. Mama doesn’t know us.”
He replies, “That’s my sweetheart in there, I’m not leaving her. This is my home now. Your mother is my home.”
He’s spent most of his life with this woman who now doesn’t know him. He loves her so much that he is willing to give up his life for her. That’s what true love is about.
*Much more to follow on love.