03 December 2015

I Want To Love You

I take thee
to be my wedded husband,
to have and to hold
from this day forward,
for better for worse,
for richer for poorer,
in sickness and in health
to love and to cherish
till death do us part.

I want to love you
when my heart no longer races
every time I see your face,
when it is no longer mystery
that entices me,
when I have memorised you
and being with you is ordinary.
When the emotions fade away
into the dull everyday,
I want to love you still.

I want to love you
when I am distracted
by work and chores and worries,
when my attention
is drawn elsewhere;
when you are distanced
and cares weigh you down,
when troubles come
to cloud our horizons,
I want to love you still.

I want to love you
when my desires grow cold
and you no longer can satisfy me,
when strength fails
and I feel you slip away,
when I see you fall apart
before my very eyes,
gnawed by time.
When at last I have to let you go -
I want to love you still.

I want my desire to be for you,
and not for my fulfillment.
I want to love you for who you are,
not for the emotion
that grips me, then leaves
and cannot last.
I want to give myself,
sacrifice completely,
entrust myself to you
you will love me this way too.
I want to love you,
spirit body soul,
till death do us part.


[12. October 2015]

I was inspired to write this while visiting my grandparents, who are in their late 80s and both in an old-age home. When you truly stay together until the end, there are a lot of challenges. I don't usually think of that when I think about marriage - but watching my grandparents I realised some of the consequences (if one can call it that..) of love, and the full meaning of the marriage vows quoted at the start of this poem. I feel that when/if I get married, I want to say those vows and seriously mean them: that I'll not only stick with my husband when things are fine and nice and happy, but also in all the challenges ahead - and not just stick around because I must, but out of love.

I believe the kind of love that lasts is something more than the "Hollywood love" most of us believe in nowadays. I believe true love is more than feelings, that it needs to be an act of the will (of sorts) sometimes, something I want and make an effort for. Which is why even if my emotions are right, I don't feel I can honestly say "I love you" to the man I care about until I am able to fully entrust myself to him and accept the hard times, the conflicts, the differences etc too. If I only love him when my emotions are running sky-high and when everything is all right, is that true love?

I guess these are very high expectations, to be able to love someone through all the difficulties of life. I don't want to be naive about this either. But this is the standard I want to aim for, and I believe God will help me in my striving.
Important to me is also this: "believing / you will love me this way too". Fully giving oneself to someone else needs to be reciprocal - otherwise you just get trampled on, which is not the idea either!

Picture by Rembrandt

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