I have been thinking for a good while now that a deep and thorough understanding of "True Love" is the starting point for a biblical, Christian approach to the subject of Marriage.
But it dawned on me this morning that Understanding is perhaps not the starting point; I think I'm realizing today that True Love has what might be called a "pre-requisite" condition of the heart, along these lines:
It all begins with BROKEN-NESS: When our spirits are crushed, when our comfort is taken away, when our own Guilt is bearing down on us, and when we reach a point where we feel completely wretched and ruined and desperate, then and only then is the Heart pliable enough to be shaped and the Mind open enough to receive the wisdom and guidance that we have been missing (or have shunned)...
Broken-ness creates a void at the center of the soul which, then, HUMILITY can rush in to fill: Humility is not a "low self-image" or "tearing oneself down"; Humility is a proper, balanced attitude, a view of oneself that includes a profound sense of gratitude, and selflessness, and a deep desire to honor others, always remembering one's own broken-ness.
From this vantage point, now, the next stage is FORGIVENESS: Because one is always and forever painfully aware of one's own desperate Broken-ness -- an on-going condition that will only be remedied when our Sanctification is made complete by God Himself -- and as a result of a heart condition grounded in Humility, it becomes far more easy to Forgive the broken-ness and pride and sinfulness of other people. Who are we to hold others' sins and faults and failures against them when we ourselves continue to struggle with our own vast Broken-ness? A heart that continually wants to side-step Humility to assert itself, and to condemn others for their failures, is the very face of Broken-ness itself.
May God have mercy on us, we so quickly and so easily forget our own wretched state and we refuse others the mercy and grace and healing that other Broken hearts need, and which God has so graciously given to us, and which is ours to give, freely, to others...
Here are some things to read and ponder:
The Prodigal Son
(I love verse 17: "When he came to his senses..." Yes!)
The Graveyard Scene
(Scrooge is broken after having been shown a true picture of himself)
So let's get on our knees today and ask God to start fresh with us by Breaking our hearts, so that we can be filled once again with Humility, so that we can truly Forgive, so that we can then, from THAT state, be focused on TRUE LOVE.