Wednesday, October 24

Love Is Not Enough

During a counseling session yesterday, I reminded a friend of something he has long known, "love alone is hardly sufficient for a good marriage--only Christ and the fruits He produces in the Gospel are sufficient for such a thing." Agreeing, he in turn recalled the counsel of C.S. Lewis in his book, The Four Loves. There Lewis wrote:

"William Morris wrote a poem called Love is Enough and someone is said to have reviewed it briefly with the words 'It isn't.' To say this is not to belittle the natural loves but to indicate where their real glory lies. It is no disparagement to a garden to say that it will not fence and weed itself, nor prune its own fruit trees, nor roll and cut its own lawns. A garden is a good thing but that is not the sort of goodness it has. It will remain a garden, as distinct from a wilderness, only if someone does all these things to it."

4 comments:

John in Birmingham said...

Does this mean that pagans cannot have "good marriages"? Given that God has ordained marriage for all, not just for Christians, and given anecdotal and empirical evidence, it seems hard to say they cannot.

I don't think this undermines your point to your friend, but it's an interesting question.

Ken Stoll said...

Good pointed observation. It takes work my friend as you know. I can speak for those who have come up short in their marriage. My only comment would be that real love tends to the garden (i.e. invests time communicating... painstakingly, patiently and honestly) and the degree of one's love is judged by how well one gardens. Love is the cart and the horse here if you ask me. God's love is perfect and He won't be found leaving His garden alone to be overtaken by weeds.

George said...

John: The marvel is that Christ spreads those good fruits upon believers and unbelievers alike--that is the mystery of unwarranted, unmerited grace. What I was telling my friend was simply not to look for or rely upon sufficiency anywhere else.

Tara said...

Love is enough...
Just not our weak,imperfetct love but Christ's love is enough. Even when marriage hurts if we fix our eyes on Jesus and away from our selves amazingly enough the picture gets bigger.

All good things come from God. What makes a pagans marriage "good"?

I would argue that although a pagan has a long, seemingly sucessful marriage by all wordly standards that they truly do not have a "good" marriage.

The richness of marriage as a vocation and ministry between a man and a woman that love the Lord cannot be experienced in a pagan marriage. Therefore a pagan marriage although statistically appearing "good" does not come close to the true goodness fruit!

Common grace in a different view.