How many times can you genuinely fall in love? How often have you fallen in love with someone before you settled on your final choice? How many were there? Some believe that the relationships you had, and learned from, helped you to make your final choice. You were exposed to many personalities and various characteristics of those you dated. This helped you discern many differences and decide which personalities and characteristics were compatible with you and which were not. This information is best obtained before you enter marriage and not during marriage. Breaking a dating relationship is far easier than a heartbreaking divorce.
There are some who choose a marriage partner for the wrong reasons. Appearances should not be the only factor in your selection of a marriage partner. If ’looks’ is the primary reason you chose your spouse then you are in for a disappointing future. Appearance is the one thing we know from the beginning that will fade and pass away. We should be looking for qualities that are lasting. One very important characteristic is personality. Is your future choice a happy person or one who is a pessimist? If that person is a pessimist then you are in for some very sad times. Their attitude will surely wear you down and tend to suck the joy out of your life.
Integrity of character and keeping your word is crucial to a successful marriage. When one’s word is given and assurances made then you have a solid basis for a happy marriage and a growing and mutual trust. Of course, there are other ‘trusts’ to be kept. The trust of fidelity is paramount to a long, joyous and successful marriage. A broken trust, even one which is forgiven, is as a cancer that has gone into remission but leaves one never free of the fear that it might return. Another vital component that must be a part of the marriage contract is a shared vital living faith. This world can be a very cruel and wicked place and without faith to remove the stormy ‘mountains’ it would be virtually impossible to endure the hardships of life. Faith is good. It is the hope of the soul and provides the victory we seek by allowing us the strength we need to overcome the obstacles of life. In all cases you must never be ‘unequally yoked’.
What if you were happily married and your spouse passed away? Is it possible to fall genuinely in love a second time? Even a third? I answer this, here, in just a moment.
This may shock you after all I have said but it is possible to marry someone you are not in love with and still have a happy marriage. All the values I have already mentioned still apply for a happy marriage. Yes, you can have a happy marriage without a deep love. You will miss a great deal of the blessings and joy of a love marriage but God allows for you to have a happy marriage by applying these same values and principles. You already apply most of these principles with the people you work with and your neighbors. You have learned to ‘get along’…and so you do.
Earlier I said I would answer the question , “How many loves can you have?
Let me answer for myself. My first wife, Martha Jean and the mother of my two children, passed away from complications of Alzheimer’s. I had thought after her passing away that I would remain celibate. It happened that in the second year after my wife Martha Jean had passed away I met Linda who allowed me to see rainbows and not clouds, to hear music again and not cacophony. The light she brought with her allowed the shadows to vanish. Yes, she was very, very beautiful. I admit that I was attracted to her beauty but it was her spiritual faith and integrity, her joyful nature, her personality and her genuine love of and for people, especially of little children that captured me. She was a ‘loving child of God’. How could I not love her? In less than two years of wedded joy we discovered that Linda had cancer and within five years my darling had passed over. Any one who has been in a hurricane and fought with the winds blasting away with immense and horrendous force knows how one feels when fighting cancer with everything you have. Everything changes, life changes, you are at war with cancer and you are fighting a supernatural enemy with prayer and all the faith you can muster. Finally, the battle is over. This time cancer had won this earthly battle but the war is not over. There is one last battle, and we win that one and we get a new and better body that is immortal and that will never die.
As I was walking down my lovely forested road the other day I thought of how much both of my ‘loves, Martha Jean and Linda’ would have enjoyed the view, the walk, the lovely weather and each other. I pictured both of them with me. We were holding hands. Each held my hand and my hands held each of them. I know my love for the one does not detract from the love I have for the other’. Neither the smile, nor the flame is diminished by sharing it. Can we hold the hands of our children and love both completely? Of course we can…and do. I think that if my two loves had ever met one another, they had so much in common, that they surely would have been close friends. I often have thought, “how could I have been so blessed, twice?’ I know that many others have not been blessed even once. I have indeed been very blessed by a loving God.
Do I think that there may be a third love in my life? I am not looking, but then I wasn’t looking before either. This I know. We have the capacity to love again, and again and again. We were created to love and it is our nature to love. Our spirit is saturated with love and just as our good green earth is satisfied by the cool waters from heaven it also receives again and again it does not take much more rain to once again cause the earth to fill to overflowing with tears of joy, as when a new love makes its appearance. Love is always so very close to the surface and our spirit is eagerly seeking expression. I have almost had this third experience but fate or the will of God decided that it was not to be. It is best to leave such matters in His hands and if there is to be another love to let Him choose.
Even now, after almost two years since Linda’s passing, the scent of her which still lingers on some of her clothing in the closet, that I have not yet been able to put away, brings tears to my eyes and a tightness in my throat. Many of the love songs I hear on CD’s or on radio and television also brings a tightness in my chest. I find myself emotionally responding to the love I see in others and am touched by the tenderness I see expressed by those in love. I respond to the emotion of love more than any other stimulus. Pure love is a joyful experience. Is it no wonder we are encouraged to “Love one another”?
Our five senses are wonderful. With them we perceive the world around us. Surprisingly, however, we are actually limited by our five senses when we rely only on them for all the understanding of our world. It is our spirit that grants us the ability to transcend the limitations of this world and experience the far greater reality of creation that is all around us. Pure love lives in the spiritual realm. Physical love is confined to the physical world and to the physical senses where we experience only a minute portion of loves total reality. Pure spiritual love transcends the meager experience of this world and is exposed to the unlimited joy of an unlimited creation. An egg yolk can not fathom existence outside the shell and mankind without the spiritual essence of love can not experience the existence of love’s true nature found in God’s creation. An egg yolk is potentially a life yet to be, but is only a possibility of what is to be and is of the physical world. Pure spiritual love, as a child in the womb, provides us with the power to propel us into the beautiful creation that God has prepared for us and is always within our reach. The scripture tells us, “God is love” and that we have been made in His image and likeness. We, too, are ‘love’ even as God is ‘love’ and that is both our spiritual nature and our destiny.
There may come a time when the personal love we had for someone who has passed away may be transformed into a general love for others in the way of service or as a caregiver. Let us be thankful for every opportunity to be a blessing to others in need and for having been chosen for this purpose. We who have mourned know how to give comfort to those in need of comfort. It is our new ‘calling’.
And that is,
As I See It,