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Love is a Many-Splintered Thing

Love does not insist on its own way…

1 Corinthian 13:5b ESV

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing, was a film that debuted in 1955. It involved an American reporter, played by William Holden, who fell in love with a Eurasian doctor, played by Jennifer Jones. I confess I have never actually watched the movie, but the title has always intrigued me. It has always been a desire of mine that the movie be renamed to more accurately describe this befuddling thing we call love. If our cards were laid on the table, I believe most of us would admit that the experience of love is a Many-Splintered thing. True, there are moments of glorious splendor, when the moon shines bright and cuts a glowing cast across our loved one’s delicate face. There are moments when all is well in our soft romantic love nest. But there are many more moments when loving someone is a raw and ready choice. I believe it is in these times, when love drives us crazy, that we grow deeper in love because of a very important truth I’d like to talk about.

Karen and I have been married 40 years this month, so we are not wet behind the ears concerning the process of what it means to love one another over the long haul. Neither are we ignorant about what it takes to keep the home fires burning. I could write to you about all the struggles we have had along the way; the victories and defeats our relationship has endured and I am sure you would easily identify with us. I would rather bring to note something you have not perhaps thought about. It is the one thing that will draw you closer to the one you love more than anything else I could share. The greatest blessing and benefit of a loving relationship is that it forces us to face, not the frailties and weaknesses of our mate, but of ourselves. Long-term marriage, if it is to be successful, requires we take a long steady hard look at our own selfishness, ego, and our desire to love our mate in our own way rather than how our loved one wants to be loved. That was surely a mouthful, and so, perhaps you should read that last sentence over again. If you have not been deeply altered within a relationship it is not a true and abiding one.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians concerning love. He said love is patient and kind and that it does not envy or boast. Love is not arrogant or rude and it does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable or resentful. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. It certainly seems as if love is a lot of hard work but let me assure you after 40 years of loving the same woman, it is well worth it. Loving Karen is easy once I get my old selfish self out of the way. The love Karen and I share is strong and steady and deep because we have fought for it and we are still fighting for it and we will always fight for it. Fight on my fellow lovebirds.


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