Love isn’t blind. Love in its larval stage may be blind to the faults and reality of the beloved, but developing love, mature love is far from blind. Mature love chooses to see the beloved as he or she is and will be.
There is something magical, almost hypnotizing about love in its larval form. It’s beautiful to watch but hard to counsel. Although we have no formal qualifications to do so, my husband and I have been privileged to provide marriage counseling for a few couples whom we have known well over the years. From my limited experience, it seems that the goal of premarital counseling is to somehow respect this hypnotic larval love while also attempting to suspend it for a few hours every few weeks leading up to the wedding. Without popping or disrespecting the beautiful and necessary bubble of baby love, the counselors must attempt to show the full life cycle of love. Here’s hoping we did well.
Blind love quickly becomes exposing love. Consistent, committed love will always be uncomfortable and exposing at times. I know my husband far better than I did when we were first falling in love, for better and for worse. I know his quirks and his oddities, his shadow side and his silly side, his strengths and his weaknesses probably better than anyone else on earth. The scary thing is that he can say the same for me. For this very reason, covenantal commitment is both necessary and comforting.
The fact that we are not going anywhere, that we are in this marriage as long as the Lord lends us breath provides both a foundation and a springboard. We see each other, faults and failure included, and we continue to choose one another. We are in this thing together, period: covenant as foundation. But that foundation and the recognition that we will be in this together to the end motivates me to want to become more whole, more mature, more sanctified: covenant as springboard.
Exposing love seems to morph into a seeing love. Somewhere in the process, love begins to see the beloved not only as they were and are, but also as they will be. There are moments when I catch a glimpse of my husband’s glory self, the self God has always intended Him to be and is daily moving Him toward. It is my great joy and responsibility to speak into that glory self and to pray and push him toward it to the best of my ability. I expect that he will do the same for me.
This all sounds so pretty, so smooth, but in practice this love thing is anything but smooth. It is awkward and annoying, it is funny and frightening and it involves lots of tears and testy words. But it is good.
That being said, marriage is not the end-all-be-all. It is a preparation and a pointer. When I am subjective and selfish, the reality that marriage is momentary (thanks for the phrase, Piper) makes me sad. But when I am sane and well-slept, I get excited that there won’t be marriage in heaven. I cannot help but think that it will be among the most satisfying things in the new heavens and the new earth to see my husband completely at One with Christ, completely and comfortably his glory self, knowing that I played a minor or major part in his process of getting there.
I’m so thankful that love is not blind. It means so much more that it isn’t.
But so much more than that, I am thankful that God’s love for me is fully informed, faithfully sustained and forcibly transforming me into my glory self.