Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Love Is Not Enough

“And they all lived happily ever after.” Sounds good, does it not? The great American romantic myth. You see someone across a crowded room on some enchanted evening and immediately know that they are the one. Or you come up to someone and say, “Hello, I love you, will you tell me your name?” (Boy, am I dating myself.) You find the right person and meet and marry (the ideal from a Christian perspective), and you will both be deliriously happy the rest of your lives and have no problem that cannot be resolved in 30 minutes minus commercials. But real life does not work that way. So we go back to the drawing board and decide that what we need to do is work at it if we want to have the perfect marriage. The problem with this is you can drive the other person crazy trying to solve all the problems so you can have the ideal marriage. (Been there and done that.) And the conclusion is that if you fail, you will be miserable the rest of your life. And, of course, romantic love can be used as an excuse to break all promises and ignore all moral principles because, after all, you are in love.  

The truth is, we are imperfect people (Romans 3:23; Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 64:6) living in an imperfect world (Romans 8:18-23; John 16:33; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18). This will not be remedied until God Himself intervenes in history (Revelation 21:4; Philippians 3:20,21; 1 Corinthians 15:53-58) and delivers those who have put their faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 4:4,5; Philippians 3:9). But until then, we cannot expect that anything in this life will make us perfectly happy. And if we try to put anything in the place only God can fill, we can destroy both it and ourselves. Now romantic love, in its proper place, is a good thing. But observations will tell us that the feelings come and go and it is the commitment that preserves the feelings, not the other way around. And the more desperate our search for feelings becomes, the more we throttle the very thing we are seeking to produce. Now I am not saying we should not try to improve our marriages. But sometimes the best thing we can do is just back off a bit. To learn to savor the pleasures of what we have rather than ruining them seeking a perfection that can never be. And we need to trust God for every aspect of our life, not that He will do what we want, but that we can trust Him with whatever comes (Psalms 127:1,2; Proverbs 3:5,6). For if we see anything in this life as the source of all happiness it will elude us. But if we put something in its proper place, it can give us the kind of real, but limited, happiness it is capable of producing. But only the intervention of God in history will produce the real happily ever after.

No comments:

Post a Comment