I love my husband.
I really do.
But with each year and each turn and each milestone of marriage God is teaching me brand new things about love.
What it is. And what it isn't.
And I have so many more lessons to learn.
A number of books and wise counsel have taught me along this path, leading me to where I am now. Books like Love & Respect and Sacred Marriage.
But no book teaches me more than God's word. It strips away popular theory and is more relevant than any book claiming itself as the most relevant marriage help book on the market.
Today our pastor was referencing marriage in his sermon. And, among many other things, he said that marriage really means death.
No, not a death to good times or dude nights or speed dating.
Death to us. Death to ourselves. Our personal, and mostly selfish, desires.
It's really an opportunity to be like Christ. To love another human being before ourselves.
Like one of the books I listed above proposes, what if marriage is designed to make us holy instead of happy?
That's so unAmerican - isn't it?
It's not what Hollywood says. Not what romance novels espouse. It's not what poets ponder and songwriters wail about. Not what fills our dreams at night or drives the plots of the films that wait in our red NetFlix envelopes.
No. We are bombarded with the images of romance and feelings. Always catering to our feelings.
Two souls as one.
Our better half.
Love of my life.
Knight in shining armor.
Please don't read me wrong here. I like romance. Probably too much. I want my days to be full of it.
I spent far too many hours reading Janette Oake's perfect-ending-every-time Christianized romance novels in high school. I watched Pretty in Pink and Two Weeks Notice and dozens of sub-par films in between and I wanted to be swept off my feet, wooed, carried off on a white horse.
But we always take it all too far. Even the good things. Or wait, I always take it all too far. Especially the good things.
Two souls as one?
Romantic drivel at best.
Damning theology at worst.
Kevin and I made a covenant with God. We did. To act in a certain manner to one another. (Not really to feel a certain way forever. Who can promise to feel a certain way forever?)
But two souls?
I'm afraid not.
We're not a package deal.
I am not ultimately responsible for the status of Kevin's soul.
Nor he for mine.
It just doesn't work that way.
Regardless of the sweet sentiment.
When will I ever accept the truth as it is instead of the truth as I wish it to be?