By: Gabriela Yareliz
True love’s kiss is not just a song by Amy Adams in the movie Enchanted. Though the movie is phenomenal. There is the jaded, divorced father, the young believing daughter and this wacky, innocent princess character that enters their lives.
Spoiler alert, the opposites attract and fall in love.
Ahh, what is love? Sometimes, we find ourselves “so close, yet so far.”
To love takes courage. C.S. Lewis wrote in The Four Loves, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.” So interestingly, this desire to keep ourselves safe, this “avoiding all entanglements” is selfishness itself.
Lewis continues saying: “But in that casket– safe, dark, motionless, airless– it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.” (121).
The risk of love is something God calls us to. He also calls us to a love infused with divinity. God is love; therefore the truest Biblical love is infused with divine grace and patience to bear and endure all things.
“Christ did not teach and suffer that we might become (…) more careful of our own happiness… We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the suffering inherent in all loved, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as the way in which they should break, so be it.” (The Four Loves, 122).
You see, God created humanity for Himself. Any love we experience is but a small mirror that should lead us to the greatest Love of all.
Charity, as the Bible calls it, is that divine, Godly love, that overcomes all things and draws all things to itself.
“We all receive Charity. There is something in each of us that cannot be naturally loved. It is no one’s fault if they do not so love it. Only the lovable can be naturally loved. (…) All who have good parents, wives, husbands or children, may be sure that at some times– and perhaps at all times in respect of some particular trait or habit– they are receiving Charity, are loved not because they are lovable but because Love Himself is in those who love them.” (133)
This means that in romantic love, C.S. Lewis writes that we must do the works of love when love may not be present. It’s this idea of sacrifice, long suffering and obedience to something divine.
C.S. Lewis goes one step further in the philosophy of this and takes us back to our Bibles for an example on what divine love looks like:
“The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church. He is to love her as Christ loved the Church– read on– and give His life for her (Eph. V, 25). This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like the crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is most unworthy of him, is– in her own mere nature– least lovable. For the Church has no beauty but what the Bride-groom gives her; he does not find, but makes her lovely.” (105)
Divine love is about outdoing one another to honor and serve each other. It’s about giving to make each other lovely. We must give all.
Even while unlovable, even while in darkness, we have been picked up, cared for and dressed. We have been loved and the ultimate price was paid.
True love’s kiss is one that doesn’t just vow to never leave, it’s the one infused with the only power that can make this possible; the love that never ends, God Himself.
To love truly, we must go first to the author of Love. Love Himself. And when we turn our faces to Him, we will receive and be able to practice a love that “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13: 7-8
(Quotes and passages cited come from The Four Loves, by C.S. Lewis)