This weekend, I will be traveling from New Jersey to Maine for my niece Amanda's wedding. She will be marrying her childhood friend, Ben, and I believe that their long friendship will give them a great foundation for a long "til death do us part" and happy marriage.
I bought her a Bundt cake pan as a wedding gift (more on that later,) but wanted to do something more creative in lieu of a traditional card. What I decided to do was type up some quotes on love that I have collected and put them in a letter to her and her groom. So, now I share these with you.
I almost titled this post, "Quotes on Love from Great Thinkers," and that fits a few of them. One is from Paul Newman. Was he a great thinker? Well, he seems to have some wisdom on relationships, and his marriage to Joanne Woodward shines out among Hollywood marriages as being particularly long, faithful and happy. On the lighter side, I've added some cute quotes from children. Some of these will seem cute and funny in a "Kids Say the Darndest Things" sort of way, but there are bits of wisdom in these too.
|C.S. Lewis with his wife, Joy Davidman|
"Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last, but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called 'being in love' usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending 'They lived happily ever after" is taken to mean "They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,' then it says what probably never was nor ever could be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be 'in love' need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense -- love as distinct from 'being in love' -- is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other, as you can love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be 'in love' with someone else. 'Being in love' first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run; being in love was the explosion that started it."
-- C.S. Lewis in "Mere Christianity"
"If we love someone but do not love God, we demand total perfection and righteousness from that person, and when we do not get it, we become cruel and vindictive, yet we are demanding of a human being something which he or she cannot possibly give. There is only one Being who can completely satisfy to the absolute depth of the hurting human heart and that is the Lord Jesus Christ."
-- Oswald Chambers
|Amanda and Ben|
"The truth is that the more intimately you know someone, the more clearly you'll see their flaws. That's just the way it is. This is why marriages fail, why children are abandoned, why friendships don't last. You might think you love someone until you see the way they act when they're out of money or under pressure or hungry, for goodness' sake. Love is something different. Love is choosing to serve someone and be with someone in spite of their filthy heart. Love is patient and kind; love is deliberate. Love is hard. Love is pain and sacrifice; it's seeing the darkness in someone and defying the impulse to jump ship."
"Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the Art of Marriage, the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say 'I love you' at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the marriage. It should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of sacrifice or duty, but in the spirit of joy. It is expressing words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife the wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding rooms for things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner. It is being the right partner."
-- Paul Newman to his wife on their wedding day
And on the lighter side ...
Actual Children's Answers to the Question "What is Love?"
"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give any of theirs." -- Chrissy, age 6.
"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." -- Terri, age 4.
"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK." -- Danny, age 7.
"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My mommy and daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss." -- Emily, age 8.
"Love is what is in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen." -- Bobby, age 8.
"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend you hate." -- Nikka, age 6.
"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day." -- Noelle, age 7.
"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well." -- Tommy, age 6
"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy was waving and smiling. Nobody else was doing that. I wasn't scared anymore." -- Cindy, age 8.
"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night." -- Clare, age 6.
"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken." -- Elaine, age 5.
"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he's handsomer than Brad Pitt." -- Chris, age 7.
"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you've left him alone all day." -- Mary Ann, age 4.
"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones." -- Lauren, age 4.
"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even though his hands got arthritis too. That's love." -- Rebecca, age 8.
"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." -- Karen, age 7.
"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget." -- Jessica, age 8.