Saturday, September 27, 2008

No love without committment


I am learning a great deal these days about the value of committed love. I am seeing how our ability to live in committed love shapes us, our faith in God, and our ability to mature in general. What follows is some thoughts on this that have been helpful for me.

True love does not come but through a committed relationship over time. Love at first sight is not real, at least not in the sense that I'm talking about. A statement like "It was love at first sight" is nonsense. It is like saying: "It was the Sistine Chapel at first sight." Such beauty is a product of passion and commitment. To be certain it embraces the moment of inspiration, but it goes way beyond that.

I am beginning to get a taste of this kind of committed love, having lived just two years in the covenant of marriage. In marriage there is the talking, the waiting, the staying close to see what tomorrow and the next few decades might bring. Unfortunately, there is a part of human nature (which is given greater power in culture today) that runs from commitment and therefore, runs from love, from meaning... and as it learns this habit, from faith and from God himself. I fear that many today will never know the battle and the solace of committed love because there is an easier and more popular way that requires no commitment. It yields something without worth, a poor replica.

This morning I read Psalm 62: For God alone my soul waits in silence, from him comes my deliverance. (Ps 62:1)

I, like the Psalmist, am in covenant with God. I call out to him, talk to him, wait on him. staying near to him to see what he may bring tomorrow and in the years to come. I am knowing more and more the battle and the solace of a committed love with him. But it, like all committed love, does not come with out the waiting, the talking and the continued clinging.

I am convinced that if there's no battle in a relationship, be it with a spouse or with God, this is a sign that the easier road has been taken, that no commitment has been made, and no solace will come. It is in the settling that we lose it all. We must not settle.  We must commit.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. (Ps 62:8)

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