Valentine`s Day celebrates the sentimental love of sweethearts, roses, and paper hearts. It is right that we exalt, promote and celebrate the great gift of love. Heaven knows we need more of it in our world.
We also need to acknowledge that true love takes hard work. My husband and I were first told this at an Engagement Encounter, a marriage preparation course we had to take before we could be married in the church. Of course, we would have eventually figured this out on our own. But we were given a helpful nugget of wisdom that I have pondered to this day. Here it is…
All relationships go through a cycle of romance, disillusionment and true joy. It`s the romance stage that is usually celebrated on Valentine`s Day. Hearts are a-fluttering and birds are a-singing. The world is perfect and so is your chosen one. Nothing can go wrong!
Then something does. It can be a series of small annoyances, a major blow-up, or the creeping lethargy of boredom. Whatever it is, disillusionment rears its ugly head. You yearn to go back to the time of romance, but you can`t ignore or bypass the kaka. Together, you have to buckle down and plow through it. The kaka can be conquered! If you are successful, your reward is true joy. 🙂
True joy is synonymous to the image of gold being purified by fire. Love has been tested, and found to be true. Is this the end of it? No. You enter once more into a stage of romance, followed by another bout of disillusionment (damn!) and yet more true joy. Hopefully, each time you go through the cycle you will grow in both wisdom and love.
Of course, each couple is unique. The length or frequency of the stages in the cycle can be months or years. At this point in our marriage, we can sometimes zip through the three stages in a matter of hours! But I still remember that first, horrible experience of disillusionment – wondering if we would ever get through it. We were blessed that we did. We don`t take it for granted – for many don`t.
The beauty of this cycle image is the constant hope and promise of true joy. This is love truly worth celebrating.