I thought about what may be the least romantic love quote from a movie. See if you agree. It’s when Princess Leia said “I love you” to Han Solo, then Han Solo replied, “I know”. The momentum builds, and then falls flat. Robert Frost captured that early rush of emotion when he wrote, “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired”. Sometimes two people meet and experience instant attraction and chemistry. Fireworks go off. Other times a friendship grows into deep affection and love.
However it happens, marriage requires commitment and work. The moments of passion are great and may even grow through the years, but marriage has to sustain seasons when it’s absent or major difficulties arise. When two people join together who are vastly different and come from different backgrounds, it’s a daily forging. It’s not easy to move towards one another and towards a future together. The commitment of marriage provides a safe place for real love to grow and for character to form. We need God’s grace, unconditional love, and wisdom. If you are married or thinking about getting married, consider these wise words from Tim Keller, Pastor of Redeemer Church in Manhattan.
“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” (The Meaning of Marriage)
“Vows give love a chance and create stability so the feelings of love, always very fitful and fragile, can grow strong and deep over time.”
“Real love, the Bible says, instinctively desires permanence.”
“Falling in love in a Christian way is to say, ‘I am excited about your future and I want to be part of getting you there. I’m signing up for the journey with you. Would you sign up for the journey to my true self with me? It’s going to be hard but I want to get there.’ ”
“Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it. God’s saving love in Christ, however, is marked by both radical truthfulness about who we are and yet also radical, unconditional commitment to us. The merciful commitment strengthens us to see the truth about ourselves and repent. The conviction and repentance moves us to cling to and rest in God’s mercy and grace.” (The Meaning of Marriage)