Tuesday, March 14, 2006

This is Love!

In his book, Questioning Evangelism, Randy Newman discusses a number of questions on the minds of our contemporaries that Christians should anticipate and be prepared to discuss in the course of our commending the gospel. One of these is "What's so good about marriage?" In the chapter by that title, Newman includes the following lines from the film Captain Correlli's Mandolin. It's the counsel of a wise father to his infatuated daughter:

When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is!

Love is not breathlessness. Love is not excitement. Love is not the desire to mate every second of the day. Love is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body.

No. Don't blush. I'm telling you some truths.

That is just being in love-which any of us can convince ourselves that we are.

Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away.

Doesn't sound very exciting, does it? But it is!
Sometimes Hollywood gets it right! Let's hope that Christians don't have to go to the theater to get a message like this. Unfortunately, I think the church is often as guilty as the unbelieving culture in romanticizing marital love. The difference is that when being "in love" burns away for us, we wonder whether we somehow "missed God's will"; the assumption being that God intends that we exist in a state of perpetual infatuation rather than that we learn how to, by faith, imitate Him (Eph. 5:1-2) by seeking the welfare of another even at great cost to ourselves.

No comments: