Thursday, November 29, 2007

Beyond just "in love"

Every moment I could spare was spent reading just one more chapter. Although I'd seen the movie 4 times, the story came alive once more as I eagerly followed the twists and turns. The sadness and tension, joy then despair - would the resolution ever come?! Yet, as I reached the last page of "North and South" (a great book!) I didn't want it to end. Was it really over so soon? The breathtaking climax, the beautiful plea... Ahh... With a happy sigh I closed the book. All was right in the world. The couple was in love, and I just knew they'd spend their whole life together.

However, I didn't want it to end right there. Now that they knew they loved each other, what was going to come next? How would they get on as husband and wife? What was the wedding like? How did they live their daily life, and how many children did they have? If you look back on the great classics, it's amazing to see how many of them end in such a way. Finally, after so many ups and downs, the hero and heroine come to their senses. The lovely proposal, the tender embrace and - the book is done. It just seems too perfect, and you dreamily wonder how your romance will be...

What these books don't usually portray is the important next step: the marriage and the life beyond. More than just being "in love", the new life together takes commitment and perseverance. Love has to be a choice when faced with sickness, hardship, and the demands of a family.

The books make it look so easy. I know, daily life isn't so exciting; most people wouldn't want to read about daily cares or joys. Even those that do go into life after the wedding can only present one view of the story, and understandably so. So, I limit the amount of good, clean romances I read, just because they present an incomplete picture and can make me feeling longings or discontent.

As girls, we like the rosy tales of romance. We spin dreams of the day when we'll be in love, get engaged, have a fairy-tale wedding and be granted a cooing baby of our own. It's fine to dream about good things, but we must be prepared. Love will be wonderful - but there will also be hard decisions and lots of waiting involved. Being engaged will be a dream come true - but the proposal probably won't sound like it does in the movies or off the pages of a book. The wedding will be a most special day - but not everything will go according to plan. Children will be a joy and a blessing - but there will be times of sleepless nights and tantrums. Am I trying to shatter castles in the sky? No, I'm trying to be realistic. There will be times of unceasing bliss, but there will also be times of trial.

I, as much or more than you, am ever so looking forward to being a wife and mother. Sometimes my head gets lost in the clouds of "one day..." but I'm trying to prepare practically. Lord willing, our stories won't end with the first declaration of love. No, they will have just begun.


HsKubes' Gal said...

Great post, Anna!
Books and movies always tend to leave out the hardships that the couples go through. We young ladies need to be reminded that while marriage and romance is enjoyable, there will be hard times as well.
Thank you for this reminder!
(sorry I haven't visited in a while)

Ella said...

Anna, this was fabulous!! I also try to watch how much time I spend reading those books, even though I love them and the movies sooo much!!

However, that said, I wish North and South did show weddings and married life. That is the important part of the story!

The Chatty Housewife- said...

Great post!

Miriam Rebekah said...

This is really good.
I've often wished the same thing. I also wanted to know how married life would go for the couple.

The book is really good, though.

Anna Naomi said...

Thanks for the comments, girls.

I agree Miriam - the book is really good. It's one of the best and most enjoyable that I've read in a long time! However like Ella said, I do wish they went into the wedding and married life. However, that'd make for an extremely long book! =)

Elijah Lofgren said...

Great post! You're wise to realize and share with others that the books present and unrealistic view of life. Life is hard, it's something I continue to need to learn to accept and live joyfully with God's help despite it.

Claire said...

Anna, you always write so beautifully about true love and a faithful, trusting outlook. Thank you!

Alice said...

Good post!! You're totally right; books always focus on the easy part of love! Every season of life has its good parts and its hard parts, which is why it's so important to enjoy where we are now!

Anonymous said...

I agree that they seem to miss out the next stage which is a shame. One book which springs to mind which does continue with married life is Little Women. It is also good in that it shows the downs as well as the ups.

Anna Naomi said...

Saved Sinner, yes I always appreciated Little Women, etc. for they do go on. Another good series that continues married life is the Anne series.