“See, I’ve always been afraid of marriage because of, you know, ball and chain, I want my freedom, all that. But when I was thinking about that stupid girl I suddenly saw it was the opposite: that if you got married to someone you know you love, and you sort yourself out, it frees you up for other things.” – Rob Gordon (from High Fidelity, a novel written by Nick Hornby)
Like many modern women, I had a liberal (and stubborn) view of marriage: I ain’t getting into it! Ain’t no man gonna cage this free spirit of mine!
I had ambitions! I had desires to see the world! I wanted to see them all and do them all!
And besides, I was completely transfixed by Holly Golightly, Audrey Hepburn’s character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
A scene to illustrate:
Paul Varjak: Holly, I’m in love with you.
Holly Golightly: So what?
Paul Varjak: So what? So plenty! I love you. You belong to me.
Holly Golightly: No. People don’t belong to people.
Paul Varjak: Of course they do.
Holly Golightly: I’m not going to let anyone put me in a cage.
Paul Varjak: I don’t want to put you in a cage. I want to love you.
Holly Golightly: It’s the same thing.
What feist! What spirit! What courage!
Holly had better things to do with her life than be someone’s little wife! And wouldn’t you want to be just like her? Living a life of spontaneity? Of danger and allure? How much of that are you going to get changing diapers?
I’ve made up my mind. I wasn’t going to get married. Like Samantha (Kim Catrall’s character) from the HBO series Sex and the City, I was going to the be the captain of my own ship. I was going to go through life unhinged and unaffected. Thus began the hardening of my heart. I couldn’t fall in love after all.
Love hit me. In the gentlest of ways but with the effect of a dozen bricks falling on my head. Take the sensation of riding a rollercoaster. Imagine the drop from its’ highest peak, but without the queasiness and fear. That’s how this love feels. It hit me pretty hard.
I fell in love with Jesus.
And He taught me about love.
I learned that love is not jealous. It is not rough, demanding, insecure or desperate. It will never use your nor abuse you. Love doesn’t hurt you nor make you cry. Love never leaves you when things are tough and love never makes demands that are rough. Want to know more? The bible is a pretty awesome reference point when it comes to love (and everything else in life, really).
From 1 Corinthians 13:4 -8:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”
There is no reason to fear love. It does not mean to trap you in a cage nor turn you into something you are not. Rather, love encourages you to be who you are truly meant to be. Love frees.
Given all these promises, shouldn’t we all be excited to meet the person we are going to marry?
Shouldn’t we all be waiting in joyful hope that God will give us the perfect person for us? To spend the rest of our lives with? Marriage is awesome, God invented it! He created it in order that we can experience His great love for us, through the person that we are going to marry. Wouldn’t you want to wake up in the morning with God’s love next to you?
Jesus has changed a lot of things in my life. It began when I understood what He has done on the cross for us. It began when I realized how greatly He loves us.
And until you do, you may not know it when the man God has made for you is already standing right in front of you.
* * * * *
Paul Varjak: “You know what’s wrong with you, Miss Whoever-You-Are? You’re chicken, you’ve got no guts. You’re afraid to stick out your chin and say, “Okay, life’s a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that’s the only chance anybody’s got for real happiness.”
You call yourself a free spirit, a wild thing, and you’re terrified somebody’s going to stick you in a cage. Well, baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somaliland.
It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.”
There is no need to fear. There is God….And there is love.
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” – 1 John 4:18