Friday, March 11, 2011

Screwtape letters again.

So this week we were discussing Love and Marriage (strains of Frank Sinatra....). Lewis takes on the whole modern idea of Being In Love in a way that I find gratifying and highly satisfactory. For someone who has such a Hollywood-esque love story myself, I'm quite pragmatic about the whole concept of Falling and/or Being In Love (which reminds me that I never did finish the story of Us).

I won't go into Lewis' thoughts too much, because this is my blog and he's already written a book about it... But suffice to say, he's against the notion that some romantic and highly unlikely combination of weak knees, fluttery tummies and pink clouds is any kind of solid basis for a decision about who to commit the rest of your life to. In particular I like and want to share with you this quote, in which the older demon, Screwtape, recommends that his young nephew, Wormtongue attack "the patient's" chastity by postponing or eliminating his chance for a happy marriage thusly,

"... the humans are to be encouraged to regard as the basis for marriage a highly colored and distorted version of something The Enemy really promises as its result."

So, a young man is, by his personal demon, to be kept from the natural fulfillment of God-given desires by the search for a mystical Something that is a pre-requisite to marital bliss and without which any marital commitment would be considered almost dishonest and self-serving.

Whereas God's actual design for marriage is that two people who enter into covenant with one another and vow to serve one another and seek each other's good above their own all the rest of their days, and THAT is what will produce all the blissful, emotionally fulfulling pink clouds you could wish for. And what's more, it will last for years, through think and thin. And it will only go on getting better and better with time and tribulation and testing, because it's based on a commitment to an Ideal, that of Christ's relationship to the Church, and it's built through self-sacrifice, not self-fulfillment.

Somehow I want to convince my children, before they get to the teenage years and begin to succumb to the Hollywood ideal of Romance, that, in order of importance, it's Marriage and then Love. The feeling of intimacy that we all long for, the knowing and being known, the Marriage of Two Minds and all that wonderful stuff... That's the RESULT, not the prerequisite. And it takes hard work, commitment and sacrifice to get there.

But oooooh, is it worth it! Every minute.

I have more thoughts on this topic, but it's reeeeally late and I need some sleep! So maybe I'll get back to it another day...

PS. Since I"m FB free for Lent, would y'all click on over and comments here, instead of leaving your comments on the auto-post on Facebook? Pretty please?


Rebecca Walsh said...

This is so good! Thanks for sharing. I can't promise I won't quote you a little in my own blog. :)

Lauren Valentine said...

Loved this Lis - thanks!