Young love is good... and so is old love.
Marsha and I were visiting my parents recently and talking about our daughter Karli in her first year of marriage.
Each generation of the family now knows the sweetness of young love. My mother reflected and said, “Young love is good” and after a pause, “so is old love.”
Something about my mom’s tone and cadence of speech has stuck in my mind. Young love is good… and so is old love. Dad and mom know it. 55 years of marriage have tested the mettle of their love.
Marsha and I are 23 years into this. Love in the middle is good, too. I’m grateful to be in love and realize it is a gift. How is it possible for two imperfect people to change and soften over time by being in union?
Rob Bell recounts an example of mature love:
I have some friends who have been married over thirty years… I was in a meeting with them last week, and I noticed that when the meeting was over and everybody was leaving the room, they were still seated, deep in conversation about something. He was smiling. She was leaning close to him as she spoke. It reminded me of a conversation I’d had with him recently in which he was telling me about a vacation they’d just taken and how the highlight for him was the conversations he had with his wife.
It struck me as I walked out of the room: they’re still getting to know each other. Still talking, still telling stories, still exploring just who this person is. They understand that people are highly complex beings and that the soul is infinitely deep. If you’re mingling your soul with another soul, and there’s no end to the depth of both of your souls, this could take a while.[i]
If you are single, married, have been abused, widowed, same-sex attracted, separated, divorced, remarried, unfaithful, or neck deep in perversion you cannot escape the hope that real love exists and is transformative. We want to believe it is available and creates a safe place for us. This does not mean that love is indestructible.
There may be a few people who have lost all hope and cannot imagine transforming love. There are a handful love atheists. I do not think a person gets to the point of hopelessness without experiencing a defining crisis.
Love is interwoven with a person’s sexuality. Sexual unions create a deep bond between people who love each other. We know that we are still capable of scorching the earth, but love challenges the instinct to dissociate and think only of myself.
Maybe that’s a definition for lust—dissociate and think only of myself.