Friday, November 21, 2014

Young People in Love

Young people in loooove...are seldom ever hungry. -Alan Hale Sr., singing off-key in It Happened One Night.

I am fond of quoting the old saw that youth is wasted on the young. It's a lie, of course. You have to be young to be able to handle being young.

Have you ever been in love, for instance? Unable to think for a minute about anything but that special one? Basking in their presence like a lizard on a sun-baked rock? A Song of Solomon type love, of overwhelming desire for the beloved?

Remember that? It takes stamina, right? And the passion and idealism of youth.

Of course it won't (it can't) last and I am not being the least bit cynical when I make this assertion. It must grow and deepen into a love more mature, more able to withstand all our sins of commission and omission against one another. Or it must wither and grow stale and die.

And let me tell you, if you don't already know, that the dregs of a dead love are bitter indeed. I remember that one, too. How quickly we forget the good, in the midst of our prideful anger.

I cannot say, as I look around at the many young people of my acquaintance, how thrilled I am to see some of them venturing into life with that special someone. That someone they've waited for and saved themselves for. I recall the excitement of young love and am glad for them.

But I fear for them as well, because I know that time, familiarity and our fallen natures can drain the passion and excitement right out of that young love and leave a cold empty husk.

That first argument won't be long in coming and, before you know it, it gets personal, you feel your self bring threatened and you take counter- measures and the thing gets ugly.

Offenses must come, as Jesus said in another context. The thing is, will there be a harboring of grudges, a keeping of scores, a cherishing of past wrongs, to magnify the offenses over time?

In two of his letters (Colossians 3; Ephesians 5), Paul instructs wives to submit to their husbands and husbands to love their wives.

There are two things in view here: servanthood and self-sacrifice. On the part of both parties. Counter-intuitive for most of us, I think.

But necessary, wouldn't you agree, for young love to become more than a bitter memory.

Prayers for the young people then. And also for us, who should be old enough (and wise enough) to know better.

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