John Donne said it well “Love built on beauty, soon as beauty, dies”. True, not all love is built on beauty but it’s dying pretty quickly all over the world. In the USA, 40% to 50% of marriages end in divorce. Dying love is not only a romantic downer; it leaves crumbled homes, scarred spouses and broken children in its trail.
So where do we learn to build a love that lasts?
It’s upon the blade of a sword! The Talmud, (Sanhedrin 7) uses the following imagery; “when our love was strong, me made our bed upon the blade of a sword; now that our love has grown weak a bed of sixty cubits is not large enough for us”. Now as roomy as a sixty cubit bed is, a sword is cramped, how do the loving couple squeeze onto it?
The force of attraction that pulls those who love together (that is love – the magnetism that pulls one towards the beloved), opens you up to let the other into your “space”.
Let’s talk a bit about emotional space. Emotional space is created by the fences we erect around ourselves, in the form of selfish wants and desires which separate us from those around us. Eg. I can’t sit next to him he’s boring, smelly, too different from me etc… How did she dare say, do, think that etc… Those fences keep people at a distance, even those closest to us.
What love does is, it melts down those emotional walls until the barriers are gone and the blade of the sword is plenty wide enough for the both of us. When the love weakens, the walls come right up again and a bed of sixty cubits isn’t big enough.
The way to keep those walls down is only through a commitment to change, flexibility and a willingness to be different. Through this, waning love can be strengthened and distance can be dissolved.