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A Look at Love From the Mind of C.S. lewis

April 2, 2008

More to think about from C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity 

On marriage:

The idea that “being in love” is the only reason for remaining married really leaves no room for marriage as a contract or promise at all.

A promise must be about things that I can do, about actions:  no one can promise to go on feeling in a certain way.

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.

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…ask, and receive, from God.

On loving others:

That is what is meant in the Bible by loving [someone]:  wishing his good, not feeling fond of him or saying he is nice when he is not.

I admit that this means loving people who have nothing lovable about them…perhaps it makes it easier if we remember that that is how He loves us.  Not for any nice, attractive qualities we think we have, but just because we are the things called selves.  For really there is nothing else in us to love:  creatures like us who actually find hatred such a pleasure that to give it up is like giving up beer or tobacco.

The rule for all of us is perfectly simple.  Do not waste time bothering whether you “love” your neighbour; act as if you did.

On His love for us:

But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not.  It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.

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