Saturday, June 19, 2010

"In romance and love the world will disagree, but all couples' concern is charity"**

Shortly after we returned from California where we celebrated Henry's birthday and got to celebrate a friend's marriage, we were able to celebrate our own three year anniversary.
Three years seems like an odd amount of time, maybe its just because three is an odd number. Not very long, but not necessarily 'new'.
Now I am not the world's most sentimental person, so you'll have to excuse my mode of "romantic declaration" in recounting my thoughts about celebrating three years of marriage to Johann.
One idea I have pondered a lot in relation to our marriage is something Enlightenment thinkers explained as the "bonds of charity." Two people who fall in love and become bound together in their love for another being. I think it goes without saying that the most perfect form of this would be love of God and his son. I think second to that is love of family, or children.
I find that there has come into our lives a deeply satisfying feeling of mutual love when we lay down at night and I hear these words frequently uttered, "I just love our little Henners."
I don't think marriage is an accidental "falling" in love. I think it is something that is made to refine our souls, to teach us to be selfless and ultimately to be more charitable than we would have been otherwise.
I think it is two very imperfect people who are equally willing to help the other become the best person possible. The person God wants them to be. It is also two people who are willing to sacrifice together for someone or something else beyond themselves. Two people acting as one in love and sacrifice, in charity.
I know neither of us are near perfection, but I am grateful to be married to someone who believes and hopes and lives like some day I can be. I am grateful for someone who extends our bonds of charity beyond just our son to any who might be in need; someone who when Christmas money is already scarce responds affirmatively to a prompting received that there is someone else in the ward who needs those few dollars more than our family needs big gifts.
Upon reflection of these past three years, I am grateful. I love my husband and I have every hope of that love growing and changing to become the kind of bonds that keep us and our family through eternity.

**adapted from quote by Alexander Pope which reads "In Faith and Hope the world will disagree, But all mankind's concern is charity." Essay on Man (ep. III, l. 307)