Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

More Than A Feeling

“The moment I first truly loved my wife is when she asked me to do something I didn’t want to do, and I did it anyway.”

I attend a weekly men’s Bible study. I’m pretty sure I’m the youngest guy there which is fine; I’m used to sticking out in a crowd. But it’s become apparent I’m in another minority — bachelorhood. One fellow has only slightly jokingly offered to set me up with some people he knows, but he’s never followed through on it.

At a recent study, another fellow “encouraged” me by telling me marriage and love were wonder feelings I could well look forward to.

Ya think?

I’m not prone to giving in to my feelings. I believe I’ve written to you before about this, my proclivity to keep them on a tight rein. Passion is a fickle governess, and she has led far, far too many of my brothers and sisters away to treachery. (God forgive me that I feel some grim satisfaction that they must bear the consequences of their actions. Yet if a man as hungry as me can stay true to my future spouse, no one else has much of an excuse.)

Far too many marriages are based on nothing but feelings. I recall catching a televised wedding ceremony a few years ago, and instead of “so long as you both shall live” they vowed “so long as ye both shall love.”

Love has to be more than that.

Love is a verb. Love requires will. And toil. And effort.

I won’t always feel like loving you, nor you me. Although I think you will always be precious and wonderful to me, there will be days where you won’t like me and I won’t like you. There will be days you may be less attractive when you roll out of bed in the morning, with your hair everywhere, scratching and blinking and yawning. (I’d pay any price just to see you now, even in that state.) There will be days I’ll be sweaty and grimy and hot, smelly and gross and you won’t want to come near me. There will be the times we argue and fight and hurt each other. There will be days when I’m tired and cranky and stubborn, and the golden has tarnished all off of my Golden Rule.

There will be times I won’t feel like loving you.

That’s why it has to be more than a feeling. Feelings come and go, but mostly they go. Love can’t depend on that, marriage can’t depend on that. I don’t know how well that’s going to work in the end, because I haven’t been there. A man never knows until he’s been tested. But forewarned is forearmed — I do see those days coming, and I’m doing what I can to prepare for them. (And I darn sure don’t ever see divorce as an option.)

When necessary, I’m going to try to love you in spite of feelings, not just because of them.

And yet…oh, and yet! For a man who restrains his feelings and keeps this heart of stone under lock and key, the promise of those feelings holds untold wonder. There is an anticipation and knowledge that the promises and pleasures of the future are so great that the anticipation is nearly unbearable, and to dwell on them is to torture one’s self.

As I was riding the bus to work the other day, someone sat down next to me. (Funny how each double row will fill to just one occupant before we’ll succumb to sitting side-by-side.) She was totally unaware that her sleeve was rubbing my arm, and although I did not even draw close to sinning, it simply put me in mind of you, and what it will be like just to sit on the couch together and watch a movie, with you cuddled up next to me, nestled in my arms.


May 12, 2012 - Posted by | Things Other Guys Won't Do, Uncategorized

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