There are a good many things which would not be worth bothering about if I were going to live only 70 years, but which I had better bother about very seriously if I am going to live forever.
~ C. S. Lewis
And as believers, we are going to live forever; we’ve been promised.
So it does matter who we are today.
I attended Alyse and Kyle’s wedding this summer. The bride and groom were obviously giddy to be marrying, and rightly so. Nothing but smiles and laughs.
But we older adults intermingle our joy with a few tears, and not just happy ones.
We foresee a little further down the road—times the happy couple will get so angry at each other that they’ll say such rude things unimaginable on this wedding day; times when they’ll worry themselves crazy over a sick child in the middle of the night; times when they’ll be so torn about whether to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas at his family or hers.
Little things and big things. We know. We’ve been there.
And we foresee times of immense joy, too, those special joys that only married partners can give to each other.
We take the long view. We’ve lived it and we know it’s ahead for them, too.
So the vows the loving couple made to each other that Saturday need to be undergirded with determination and commitment and selflessness; they have much to go through ahead.
Those character traits are things “worth bothering about,” per Lewis, not only to start a relationship, and to enjoy your partner—but to be an enjoyable partner. Through the first year of marriage, into the next 55, and individually, those very qualities will shape who we are into eternity.
Patience, kindness, trust, forgiveness. Young or old, don’t we all need to continue nurturing these in ourselves? Not only for our spouses, but because we have a very, very long time ahead to live with us.
Let’s make it as pleasant an experience as possible.
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Can you imagine living with yourself forever? Please share in the comments.
- Links, books, and other things I love – July 2015
- Stop being too sensitive – Book review “Unoffendable”