Love may Grow…
“Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe.” Proverbs 5:18 ESV
I’m ready to come out of the closet.
I am an unabashed, album-carrying member of the Karen Carpenter fan club, and I have been since the mid 70’s. There, I said it. I can still see her album sitting on my dresser, the one with the big, red heart. Every time Karen opened her mouth; it was like honey poured onto a hot biscuit. The music she produced during her short life lives on in those who will never forget her rich voice. It is a sad but interesting fact that Karen never experienced the love that she sang about.
Love is a difficult creature to find, much less to trap. But, alas, here we are in the month of February, and we are all in the mood for love. Let’s take a stab at tracking this elusive prey.
First of all, forget Hollywood’s version of love. It is a grand illusion built upon a house of cards. Emotions are the caboose on the train, not its engine. What pulls the locomotive down the tracks is something quite different. The stuff that lasts requires a lot of hard work. Let me direct you to a source more reliable than feelings, emotions, and moods.
In Proverbs, love is described as a fountain, but only after three other sources of water are mentioned. The writer begins with a cistern, which is nothing more than a hole in the ground for the purpose of collecting rain water. He then writes of a well, which must be dug (notice the hard work involved), and then, he speaks of springs bubbling up out of the earth. Then and only then does the writer of the Proverbs pronounce the blessedness of the fountain. He tells the man to rejoice in the wife of his youth. Notice that he is older now. The varying depths of each water source and the sequential order involved in the building of a love relationship is an important fact to recognize. Each stage of love’s growth takes time. There is no such thing as love at first sight. Love never begins with a fountain relationship, but with a rudimentary hole in the ground called a cistern.
Karen and I have been married 36 years this month and although we have gotten to the point where we are enjoying the fountain, there are still days I find myself digging in the dirt to collect rain water. My counsel to every couple is to stay in the fight. Realize you are sharing life together, and it is going to be messy. Keep your sense of humor and enjoy the mess together. Men, walk in the door and say ‘I’m sorry.’ (you know you did something wrong that day) Get your shovel out and dig for water. As Karen Carpenter would say, “And love will grow, for all we know...”