Every little thing she does is magic
My gift is my song, and this one’s for you
Have I told you lately that I love you
Eight days a week I love you
You say it best when you say nothing at all
I just called to say I love you.
A QUICK glance over some of the most famous songs of the last 40 years reminds us that falling in love is undoubtedly one of the most powerful and joyful seasons that human beings can experience.
What might begin with a mere glance across the room can change the course of your life forever.
You lock eyes for a brief moment but it is much more than simply a meeting of eyes.
An exchange happens, something connects, it’s like a charge of electricity that switches a romance into life.
You are almost compelled to act.
If she’s feeling the same, you walk across the room, chat, exchange numbers and then the dating begins.
The first is nervous, the energy makes you laugh a little more than necessary and you try to hide the smile from your face to “play it cool”.
As the relationship deepens so does the euphoria as you stay up well past midnight only to meet for breakfast before work the next morning.
All of this energy eventually leads to a more serious kind of arrangement.
It has to go somewhere – and the next step, after the dating season is exhausted, is to covenant to each other “until death do us part”.
If you have enough courage, you might meet with the parents of your future bride, discuss your intentions, and seek their approval.
With their blessing, you go ahead and plan some kind of romantic evening, which will result in you getting down on one knee and asking – “will you marry me?”
If she says yes, then there is an announcement to make and a wedding to plan.
When the big day arrives, she is looking absolutely stunning, you’re tidied up as best as you can and at the high point of the ceremony, you exchange vows.
It’s a promise of complete self-giving.
In the Catholic context, this is not merely a contractual agreement – it’s a covenant which can only be broken by death.
When the euphoria of dating, engagement and marriage has passed, a new kind of love begins to emerge.
You’re no longer in the “endless energy” phase of the relationship and you both become a little more human.
You get tired, you have to cook and clean and mow the lawn.
The mundaneness of life begins to catch up.
Now love is not driven by the euphoria of romance anymore, it is instead driven by a desire for the other to be cared for.
It’s genuine self-giving.
This self-giving is stretched tenfold when children come along.
These little wonders bring incredible joy and incredible frustration.
You begin to realise that love is not about how you feel, it’s about giving up yourself.
It’s surrendering your own desires and wants for the benefit of your wife and children.
In the purging of that self-giving and surrendering of your selfishness, a better you emerges and a new kind of joy takes hold.
You begin to see similarities between your children and your spouse.
The character traits and expressions that you were attracted to in your wife are now also found in your children.
You see your wife in new light as she is now a mother.
Her endless self-giving and maternal instinct makes her even more beautiful.
What began as a glance across the room has grown into a circle of love so deep that it has given life to others.
In amongst the messiness of family, a beauty has emerged that has changed you and your spouse forever.
This is the wonder of marriage, and this wonder is worth celebrating and protecting.
It is love that leads to life.
Peter Pellicaan is a former Protestant pastor originally from Toowoomba.