Monday, March 06, 2006


Better loving through chemistry(?)

Regarding the allegedly mysterious world of romance, I don't argue against the popular emphasis of "chemistry" over and above sacrificial love-giving because I doubt its existence. I most certainly believe in chemistry. In fact, I've felt it in action. I can remember a number of incidents in which I felt rather swept away as I conversed with an attractive young woman. However, there was just one little problem: the woman was usually spoken for (i.e., married) or was obviously unsuitable for me for some other reason. Therefore, I acted in express contradiction to all of those good ol' romantic stories and swept my feelings under the rug, sensing that however powerful my emotions might be, they were not to be trusted to rule over what is right. Conversely, I can think of perfectly fine gals whom I overlooked in my younger days because I didn't "feel attracted" to them. So I am indeed aware of romantic chemistry, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to trust it.

"But waitaminnit, Dave! Sally and I have been happily married for twenty years. I remember feeling that she was the right woman for me the very first time I met her. Our personalities just clicked, and the rest is history."

Thanks for bringing that up, Harry. :-) I'm so glad that your marriage has turned out so well and that "chemistry" seemed to help you and Sally, but yet I think there's reason to doubt that it's anything but plain ordinary Scriptural self-sacrificing, self-denying love that's brought you through those twenty years happily together. Perhaps you learned how to serve one another from the beginning, or perhaps it was in the aftermath of your first big fight, but if you'll honestly consider what's sustained your marriage, I'm sure you'll realize that there's been a lot more to it than that feeling that attracted you to Sally. Oh, I don't doubt that that feeling has grown over the years, but I would submit that good feelings of affectionate regard are the common and ordinary fruit of right behavior. In other words, your feelings grow out of your actions rather than your actions out of your feelings.

Personally, I most certainly desire that should I marry, my wife and I would share a great deal of mutual affection for each other, but yet I'd hate to base the security and stability of our relationship primarily upon such affection seeing as how it is so easily strained by the trials and tribulations of this life. Therefore, as I consider the single gals whom I have occasion to meet, I try to place relatively little store on how she makes me feel and concentrate instead on whether she might be a suitable partner for me, confident that if I make God's priorities mine, He will graciously grant us the affectionate feelings we both desire. Thus, The (In)Scrutable One is no enemy to chemistry, but in fact upholds it in its proper place and priority.

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