Session Two points out that a real love, one that grows and deepens through the years, requires two essentials:
The "let's love one another for the rest of our lives" kind of love is not child's play. It requires a maturity that sets aside selfishness for the good of the other person and of the marriage. It requires an active, full-scale commitment both to the ideal of marriage and to the partner that I want to be in love with the rest of my life. It is not doing everything my partner might wish, but it is certainly doing everything I can that is right! Amazingly, it is only through such a complete and total commitment that our love for anyone can really last. The result is, we really do love them, and we love them well.
For those of us who are Christian, the ability to make and keep such a commitment flows out of our relationship with our Creator. Will our commitment produce perfect marriages? Of course not, for our spouse's ability to love is contingent upon their own commitment, but be encouraged! Mates often learn from one another how this love thing works.
While the desire to love is instinctive (something we were born with), the ability to love is not! The ability to keep our commitments is dependent upon having a strong, mature character. The words for someone who can really love are strong words like noble, honorable, wise, mature, etc. While these may sound archaic in our modern culture, the absence of these qualities explains the merry-go-round of broken promises and dashed dreams within our homes. If you are to keep the commitment to love, you must have the ability to forgive, be resilient, be gentle even when angry, and have the ability to speak honestly, and that's just the short list! In other words, it requires that we be grown ups! Thankfully, there is on-the-job training, but the foundation of these traits must be there.
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