Generation Cedar

I can’t think of a belief more ingrained in our nature than the ours about love. The emotions that run high in a new relationship are so much a part of our “love paradigm” that if they weren’t there, the idea of continuing that relationship would be ludicrous.

Emotions have their place. But not nearly so high a place as we’ve given them. And that fact, I’m afraid, has wrecked many a marriage when real life settles in and the fleeting emotions…well, flee.

So how can we, as parents helping our children navigate through this thing called “love and marriage”, inform them that almost every message they receive about love is jaded? How can we help them understand real love, the kind that holds marriages together through decades of laundry and sickness?

I’m not sure, but we have to get it right in our own heads first.

I hope this article begins the conversation…don’t forget to come back and have it.

“From Disney movies, to my favorite shows like The Office, to practically every pop song released, love is constantly sold as an emotion we have before we’re married.  An emotion that, once had, somehow magically stays within a marriage forever.

I can’t imagine a bigger lie.  And I’m saddened to think about how much those messages bounced around in my head for so long.  And how much I’m sure those messages are bouncing around in other people’s heads as well.

I think that might be a big part of the reason the divorce rate is so high in this country.  Imagine a whole nation of people constantly chasing the emotions they had when they were dating.  A country of people trying to live a Disney movie.”

Read the rest of “I Didn’t Love My Wife When We Got Married


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8 Responses

  1. Good grief, on the other side of the spectrum I’m sick of people saying that love isn’t a feeling; he even just admitted it WAS something they felt after a time. And if their courtship had been more open and allowed for more, that might have occurred before marriage too. Yes, I know the truths of showing love, but that’s not all it is. Love is never a feeling you feel before marriage as well as after? What nonsense; articles that only look at things half-mast this way would have us think we can/should/even do enter “real” marriages dry as a gulch and will experience enlivening floods after long work, supposedly no matter who you marry. Fact is, that’s been another classic lie.

    1. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water… There is something to be said for this… I don’t know what your relationship status is… married, single etc. But I will say this, after having children together, after going through medical struggles when one spouse is in pain or suffering, after going through financial crunches, or job loss or other difficulty, EMOTION is NOT enough. I’ve been married for 11 years to a wonderful giving man… One I do not deserve. Certainly, we have many times of “feeling” in love–often, even(we have four children–fifth one soon!!) but those feelings ARE fleeting, even in marriage. It is commitment (ie a decision of the will) that makes you stick through the ups and downs of life. Certainly at the point of marriage, there should be some general attraction to one another (I don’t think these people are condoning a “make sure you think your spouse is ugly mentality), but even the most beautiful woman can be ugly in the heat of argument with no self-control, while an average-looking woman might be gorgeous to a husband when she actively respects him and builds him up. And conversely, a very attractive, well-built man can be EXTREMELY stuck on himself and a plain man might be the very epitome of loving kindness and serving… Marriage that takes you through life is MADE, not fallen into… and you don’t make something worth while without effort.

      1. I know well that emotions aren’t enough, and no one feels in love 24/7; some of the most passionate couples have felt great anger towards each other. But there should be SOME, if it’s at all natural.

  2. Well said article. I am surprised to read it on the Huffington Post as the only time I ever read articles there seem to be sarcarstic ones that I agree with but the they make fun of. Of course, skimming the comments you’d think this guy is the most female-hating guy alive.

    Anyway, he’s got it and it’s taken me a long time to really understand it, and I don’t think my journey of understanding what love is is done by any means. I will probably look back in 20 years and laugh at myself now. Love is service, is giving. Just as God saId if we love him, keep his commandments. It’s that simple. Our attitude, our feelings and emotions, will all be shown through our actions.

    As my husband and I have been married 9 years now, I learn a little more each day what it means that two shall become one. I slowly start to want what he wants; my wants die. Even when he asks something of me that I may disagree with, I pray about it and ask God to change my heart to want what my husband wants. This is something new, within the past few years. I learn to “sacrifice” (I put that in quotes because though I am giving, it feels very tongue in cheek to call giving up something usually very little for my husband as a sacrifice like Christ was). Though I have seen much growth in myself, of course in my husband too, and our marriage, reading your other post and comments reminds me I cannot become prideful and must realize growth must continue to happen.

  3. I never got around to commenting on the “Ways to Grow Your Marriage” post, but I’ve been thinking about it ever since I read it on Tuesday. It seems appropriate to share my comment here, because my thoughts went along the lines of what love truly is. Love can include romantic feelings and honoring our husbands, but it’s so much more. Love is patient and kind and forgiving and, following Jesus’ example, laying down one’s life for another. Elisabeth Elliott said one time, “How do you lay down your life for your spouse? Not usually in anything heroic but in the willingness to say no to yourself, in the willingness to give up the right to be right.” The right to be right! It’s better to be quick to forgive wrongs and forfeit that right to be right. Here’s another EE quote: “No marriage can survive without forgivenes. Marriage is a long-term, intimate, all-inclusive, no-holds-barred, day-to-day, and year-after-year commitment between two sinners. How will they get along without forgiveness?” I’m reminded that 1 Corinthians 13 says that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. And, as Elad Nehorai found out, it grows in the process. … As for how we can help our children understand this, I think the best way is by our own examples. Thanks for encouraging us to ponder these things, Kelly!

    1. “Elisabeth Elliott said one time, “How do you lay down your life for your spouse? Not usually in anything heroic but in the willingness to say no to yourself, in the willingness to give up the right to be right.””

      Exactly, a great way to also describe what a husband’s sacrifice looks like. Good post.

  4. Great article. There is a difference between love and chemistry. You can feel chemistry for a great many people, but that doesn’t mean you love them. A lot of people equate the two. They think good chemistry means great love. Good chemistry just means good chemistry. Most people have chemistry initially with the person they eventually marry, but part of chemistry is the risk, the unknown, the newness, flirtation, attraction, … and this feeling gets thought of as love. And if you think that’s love, then when the chemistry goes away or gets buried under diapers and laundry and screaming children and just sheer exhaustion, then you think the love has gone away.

    1. Kristen, you said it all. Nothing wrong with “lovey” feelings, but you shouldn’t mistake those with real love described in I Cor 13 which is what should impregnate a marriage relationship.

      I remember fully well the butterflies in my stomach and groin when my husband, then not yet husband, would kiss and hold me close. I was remembering them the other day. The emotions today are completely different. They are deeper, longer lasting… not fleeting, not anxiety or guilty causing. Today there is intimacy, peace, rest… so much better.

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