Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 30!!!!!!!: True Love is Like a...what?!?

I found this pic on Facebook and could not resist discussing it. But first, I would like to congratulate myself on successfully writing 30 blog posts, though, it did not turn into a consecutive, blog-a-day experience like I had hoped. I still felt it was good to get myself back into blogging semi-regularly (I must confess this venture took possibly over 2 mos...teehee...).

So this picture...what are your first thoughts? Caption reads, "True Love is like a walk in the clouds." My thoughts: "Mmmm...that's sweet...oooh Disney romances are lovely...clouds and sky are lovely too...so sunny...so optimistic...and Disney love is so neat and tidy...and wait...that's not realistic...PAUSE!" True love is like a walk in the clouds???!! I surely hope not. Now, infatuation, and the rush of new mutual interest can feel like a drug-induced high with side-effects of faster heart rates, sweaty palms, shivers up/down your spine, warm fuzzy feelings and such. But true love is more like a walk on the ground, with the earth beneath your feet. You need solid grounding/foundation for it to be real and lasting. There will be flowers and beauty and joy. There will also be thorns, rain, rocks, and potholes. And the irony is, that if you expect love to be a walk in the clouds, you will find it to be anything but. You'll find yourself disillusioned with your significant other when life sets in, and ultimately disillusioned with yourself.

True love is commitment. I've been told this over and over by my parents and others wiser than me. But they're right. The marriages that last aren't free of care or a waltz in the skies, with pleasant puffy clouds. Ask any elderly couple. They'll tell you their heartaches and struggles, the battles they fought TOGETHER, the times they wanted to throw in the towel and DIDN'T, the times when getting out seemed easier than fighting for love. Whoever talks of that? Fighting to keep love alive? "Oh, how utterly unromantic...I will naturally have only feelings of deep affection and adoration for my significant other..." If you believe that, you're setting yourself up for multiple breakups and possibly divorce in your future.

True love is death. Yes. You read that right. Christ is true love, and his death was the ultimate proof of his affection. True love is death to self. This is true in our relationship with Christ and our relationship with our spouse/significant other, and guess what, it doesn't come naturally! But we are called to show this more difficult, yet more real, true love. Paul laid down this standard for love in marriage: "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord...Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her...each one of you also must love his wife and he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband" (Ephesians 5). We're not talking about cloud-walking here. We're talking about tough love, the kind of love that says, "I will always love you, even if I don't like you right now, even if you hurt me, even if you fail to love me the way I receive love..." This is love.

Enjoy your Disney movies, your chick-flicks, your cotton-candy-love books and movies and pop songs, but remember, true love is not a walk in the clouds. It's a journey of sacrifice, full of roses and thorns.

Learning to Love as Christ,