My teenage self couldn’t grasp or even imagine what my Dad told me over and over again. At the time, my attraction to the opposite sex was marked by overwhelming feelings. My dad, in the spirit of “ruining everything” 😉 made it clear that what I was feeling was “infatuation” . . . something the dictionary defines as “an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something.” He told me that love is something entirely different. In fact, he said, “love is a decision.” I thought he was nuts. He had no idea what I was feeling.
Well, not too much time had to pass before I realized that once again, my Dad was spot-on right.
I was thinking again this morning about that wonderful lesson from my Dad and just how needed it is in a world where we and our kids are choosing to live by the mantra “follow your heart.” What a dastardly and destructive way to live that is.
My memories of my Dad’s words were sparked by something I read this morning from C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity. These are words that pack a powerful truth-punch. . . and they are words that serve as a reminder to those of us who are older. They are also words of truth that we must, like my Dad did, communicate to our kids. . .
” The idea that ‘being in love’ is the only reason for remaining married really leaves no room for marriage as a contract or promise at all. If love is the whole thing, then the promise can add nothing; and if it adds nothing, then it should not be made. . . . And, of course, the promise, made when I am in love and because I am in love, to be true to the beloved as long as I live, commits me to being true even if I cease to be in love. A promise must be about things that I can do, about actions: no one can promise to go on feeling in a certain. He might as well promise to never have a headache or always to feel hungry.”
Teach this to the kids folks. Teach it to the kids.