Wednesday, August 02, 2006
This past weekend Jenica and I held a small, intimate gathering of friends and family to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Here are a few reflections on the past decade.
1. Love is a choice. There are many who think this grossly unromantic. People want to be "swept away" by love...they want to be placed under its spell. But if one can "fall in love" then it likely follows they can fall out of it. Or climb out of it. When we first meet that "special someone" our bodies become the repository of some of the most powerful mood altering drugs (vis a vis hormones) on the planet. And for a time we can't eat or sleep, because all we think about is that "perfect someone". Then the drugs wear off, a process that takes anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 years and suddenly the "magic is gone". And we wonder how the hell we got where we are. At that moment we are faced with a choice. To stick to it, or walk away. The truth of the matter is the sooner you decide you'll stick to it, hell or high water, the better.
2. Love is hard work. But it's rewarding work. The best work you'll ever do. I think I've already put my vote out there that love is NOT a feeling. Lust is a feeling. Infatuation is a feeling. Love is not a feeling, and as such, must be manufactured. That's right. You produce love. It is not some ephemeral essential transcendent concept. Those sitting around waiting to be pierced by love's arrow will find that Cupid's arrows are fleeting motivators. Better to stick with Agape's diligence that never fails, always hopes, always trusts, etc. Right there is the work. Always trusts? Who the hell always trusts? Not any human I know. But we work at always trusting, and from that work, love is produced.
3. Love is fostered (or fractured) in community. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an army to protect a marriage in this day and age. The world around us seeks to rip down love. Even your best friends may not have your best interests in mind when it comes to your marriage. You and your spouse are the sole people who have a seriously vested interest in protecting your marriage. My advice: guard it like it's the most precious thing on earth. And find others who are seeking to do the same and, with Alastor Moody's "Constant vigilance" take steps to grow in community as a couple. There are people who brought us to the altar, and there are people who have brought us through the years since. Those who did both are the ones I trust without reservation. I suspect they'll be around for the 25th anniversary.