Falling in love is easy, staying in love – that’s the real story.
The thing is: I was not born out of wedlock. The other thing is: My maths skills have seriously deteriorated over the years. Funny anecdote aside, as of 2018 November, my parents have been happily married for 27 years and going.
In light of divorces and rocky marriages, instant gratification and individualistic thinking, I wonder how two people can still stay in love. In my previous post, I said that I’ve been ‘in love’ with Jesus for 7 years and I don’t intend on ever falling out of love.
But it does happen. People fall out of love all the time.
So how can my love be less like the flimsy love of this era and more like the love that is talked about in Corinthians 13?
I like to think about how falling in love is the rom-com ending, and staying in love is where the true drama unravels.
My parents’ story of how they ended up together is the 2-hour rom-com (which I have total dibs on producing it artistically, someday); but their married life is the dramatic TV series that has been ongoing for 27 seasons and is still entertaining on the 28th.
After they got married, they moved between multiple countries, raised kids (we’re alright now…), weathered financial and familial storms, and so much more. Yet, their marriage is the one thing that really stayed constant and relatively undramatic throughout the past 27 years.
I think it’s because their love grew and shifted with their circumstances.
Or simply: they kept their love alive.
Love is a noun, and a verb.
Too often we think about the noun, but rarely of the verb. Nouns are static and immutable, but verbs connote motion. I love, loved, am loved by, am loving, going to love – love is an action.
If you view love as a feeling, then it’s never going to last. Like, sometimes I feel like I can conquer the world, and right after that, I feel like I’m going to die by the weight of this world, and right after that, I feel like everything is meaningless and I just want to have fun. Feelings change all the time.
But if you view love as something that is alive and active, you can do something about it. You can’t just build a bonfire and expect it to stay lit forever by itself. You build a good base of sturdy firewood, feed it dry twigs and leaves throughout the night, take turns watching it so it doesn’t burn everything or go out in a gust of wind. If a bonfire is well-tended, it can keep you safe and warm throughout the coldest winter nights.
And if you keep love alive, your bonfire actually gets bigger and stronger, allowing for more room for more people to sit and share in the warmth.
My sister once asked my mother why she chose to have kids.
My mother said that when you love someone so much, and there’s just so much love between the two of you, you want to share it with someone else.
Thus, me. And my sister. And my brother.
And there are the couples that they’ve counseled through pre-marital counseling. And there are the couples and families that they’ve led and blessed through small groups over the years and different countries. And there are the people they’ve both blessed individually. And there are the people I don’t even know how their love has blessed, but by faith, I know have been blessed by their love.
If love is real, real love begets more real love.
Real love doesn’t just stay between two people. If the love I have with Jesus is breathing and growing, it will spill out beyond the two of us. And the way I am going to keep my love with Jesus alive for the rest of my life is to continue choosing him, even when I don’t feel like it, especially when I don’t feel like it.
After all, love is more than a feeling. Love is a noun and a verb.
Falling in love is amazing and life-changing, but it’s only the beginning of a wonderful journey that in order to continue living in this adventure, you have to continue choosing love. Besides, you can never go wrong for choosing love and choosing to love.
There is only one reason for God to come himself, because in issues of love, you just can’t have someone else stand in for you… God is not passive, for love is never passive, but always passionate; and passion always leads to action.Soul Cravings, Erwin McManus
I doubt I’m done writing about love, but this is the end of this particular season of writing about love.
Thank you for reading both parts.