Sunday, November 20, 2011

You cannot stop lovers from making vows

It is not the fact that young lovers have no desire to swear on the Book. They are always at it. It is not the fact that every young love is born free of traditions about binding and promising, about bonds and signatures and seals. On the contrary, lovers wallow in the wildest pedantry and precision about these matters. They do the craziest things to make their love legal and irrevocable....[T]hey cut into rocks and oaks with their names and vows; they bury ridiculous things in ridiculous places to be a witness against them; they bond each other with rings, and inscribe each other in Bibles; if they are raving lunatics (which is not untenable), they are mad solely on this idea of binding and on nothing else. It is quite true that the tradition of their fathers and mothers is in favour of fidelity; but it is emphatically not true that the lovers merely follow it; they invent it anew.

From G.K. Chesterton, "The Superstition of Divorce"

In these days of confusion and great evil, in which marriage is under perhaps the severest attack it has yet sustained (an attack made possible by all the other attacks that have gone before and have weakened the foundations), we must hope and pray that Chesterton is right. For if he is right, then, though society be distorted and the minds of men darkened, the fundamental, life-affirming tradition in which a man and a woman take one another for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, will not die. It will be invented again by new generations of men and women, in whom the image of God has not been lost and upon whom the natural light yet shines.

May it be so.

Steven Curtis Chapman, "I Will Be Here"