Monday, January 23, 2012

It Really is the Best

Young Love is The Best.

It's full of inexperience longing to become savvy. 
It's vibrant, and dynamic 
and demanding of time and energy. It's new and  inquisitive and sometimes, a little arrogant. 
Young love thinks it has it (mostly) all together. 
It thinks it's the only Love that has really ever truly mattered, anywhere, anytime. 
It flaunts it's newness in exotic colors and knows you are just a little j.e.a.l.o.u.s. 
although you are too kind to admit it.

It really is The Best.

Well, until it's just a little more mature and then Young Love looks like 
a lot of craziness to it's new, more grown-up self. 
Stable and secure, Mature Love appreciates the fervor that came with Young Love, 
but doesn't really miss the roller coaster ride it sometimes produced. 
At least, it doesn't miss it often. 
Maturing Love now thrives in the comfort and familiarity that time has given it. 
It recognizes that the Passion of recklessly diving into Adventures has it's dividends, 
but it prefers 
the gifts of stability, and knowledge
Precarious moments result more often from inattentiveness than misplaced passion, 
but Mature Love choses to feed itself a healthy diet of 
Forgiveness and 
Grace and 
There are good things to be found in predictability, 
and Mature Love abounds with routine.

It really is The Best.

Well, it's the best until something more firm and thoughtful and dependable 
arrives in a somewhat solid package of Old Love. 
It has a few scars and the edges might be fraying a little, but it's 
True to the Core. 
There really isn't any shaking it. 
Old Love has the best of every part of itself wrapped in a slightly wrinkled, ever-so-gently mended garment of colors so intricate and rich that it often denies description.
 It has seen the salty tears of joys too deep to share with those outside itself. 
It's borne the pains of loss and sometimes betrayal, 
but always of healing. It's interesting that healing sometimes hurts.
Old Love knows it has grown far enough outside of itself that it will never be alone, 
even on the hollow nights when it can't touch another. 
It has fewer expectations, 
but it's graced with gifts Young Love never even heard whispering it's name. 

It really is The Best.

I had the great fun to share some thoughts at a Bridal Shower today. In a cross-cultural marriage like we celebrated, it's interesting to realize that 
Healthy Marriages
contain very common requirements regardless of the culture.

I shared what God's Word tells us about Love as a married woman. The first way God instructs us to love our husbands is through obedience: the dreaded "S" word of submission. Honestly, submission to our husband can be (excruciatingly)  difficult for us at times, yet obedience is really the base, the foundation, of what God expects from us. God doesn't promise mutual submission (of hubby to her and her to hubby) although that is His intent. 
He simply instructs the woman to obey. 
Feelings don't necessarily even have to come into the equation: many an arranged marriage through the ages proved that you don't even have to know him, much less like him, to simply obey him. It's the easiest...and the hardest...part of being married.

We most often think of Love as the basis for a successful marriage. Love comes in three intertwined packages in the Bible. 

God's Word celebrates the physical passion that married couples get to enjoy. (Check out the Song of Songs, written by that hot-boy, Solomon.) 

It also beautifies the kindred-spirit type of friendship that a healthy marriage needs. (Often called "brotherly love") 

His Word reveals the love that only God can give us to love selflessly, and completely without expecting a return. (The Greek word, agape, sounds like something Dory would say as she looked for Nemo...just keep swimming...)

If those two things (1. submission and 2. all three parts of love) exist in a marriage, I'd say it's a healthy marriage. It would be an enviable marriage. But like all good, God-things, 
marriage has true satisfaction hidden in one more spot: reverence. 

Reverence? really? Like the fear kind of reverence?
When you chose each other, God chose to place Him over you in a protective position. That knowledge ought to keep your heart sober toward your husband. He gave your man the responsibility for your well-being and your nurturing. God deals with the husband that doesn't fill his role as God designed it. Reverence means we, as wives, need to be serious about keeping our guy in the best possible light as we can. For us funny-girls, it means not making jokes (no matter how gut-splittingly clever the joke may be!) at his expense. For you mean-girls, (see how carefully I worded that to exclude myself? aren't I clever?) it means corking it even when he is stupid in public. or in private. or anywhere. 

I want the Best of all Loves. 
I want my marriage to be 
Our Own Little Love Affair
that makes the kids blush and our parents roll their eyes.

I want to know that he knows that I know He's 
The Best Thing that ever Happened to Me.
Because he is.

Time with Mark might be my one weakness.

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