Young love - the emotional kind, the butterflies-in-your-stomach kind, the kind everyone says can ‘t last: I have some comments about that, and they’re good. Starting with: young love can and does work!
I’ve just finished watching a tv show that essentially threw a big wet blanket on this kind of “infatuation” love. As many so-called experts say, it’s great for the beginning of a relationship but it invariably gives way, with terrible things to follow including divorce. I think that’s nonsense!
Young Love is Necessary
Young love is entirely necessary for a mature and lasting relationship and marriage. It is the first stage of love that grows into maturity. I view things primarily Biblically, and in this case I have to defer to 1 Corinthians 13, the famous “love chapter”. In this chapter, the first 10 verses describe what love is in it’s maturity: it’s patient, kind, not jealous, doesn’t brag, it’s not
arrogant, and many other beautiful descriptions of what love is. Then in verse 11, it contrasts this by talking about how one acts as a child. Mind you, the subject is still love, but it uses a human “for instance”:
So this example can apply to maturity in the Christian life, but also to the immediate context of Love. I believe that the long lasting, mature love that we aspire to begins as an infant, grows into a child, and then matures into the love that sustains a family and marriage until the “death do us part” that is commonly referred to in wedding vows.
In this passage it’s easy to see the growth and progress of what young love can develop into - just look at the verses that preceded it. It grows into a maturity that is patient, kind, not jealous, not arrogant, doesn't brag, doesn't act unbecomingly, and so many other positive attributes.
Young Love Grows Into Mature Love
This growth takes time, just as it takes time for a child to grow into an adult. During that time, mistakes are made and corrected, paths are departed from and re-found, and finally the love grows into maturity. It becomes older, wiser, and perhaps a bit slower. But it retains it’s personality, it’s outlook, and it’s identity. It doesn’t become something it’s not, it becomes the best that it can be.
Love and Marriage Is Better With Christ
It Works With Dancing Too
This whole child - to - adult process described in 1 Corinthians 13 is also a good analogy for Ballroom Dancing. We all step onto the floor as beginners - some with more talent than others, but still beginners. We go through “dance childhood” by learning the basics, progress into adolescence when we add some patterns, move into young adulthood with some technique, and finally reach adulthood and maturity. And even the maturity is a never ending learning process. But here’s the reward - imagine having a dance partner that
- is Patient, kind, not jealous
- does not brag and is not arrogant
- doesn’t act unbecommingly or seek it’s own
- is not provoked and doesn’t account for wrongs
- doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in truth
- bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
- never fails