In a recent blog post, Tommy McGrady wrote that “marriage isn’t just hard. It’s sneaky hard.” But a friend of mine read it, and then she responded.
“When you learn to communicate, love your spouse more than yourself, learn to compromise and accept that not everything in life is going to be the way you want, marriage is not hard at all,” she wrote.
So which is it?
Is marriage hard, or not hard? If it is hard, should it be? And what about dating? If that’s hard, should we call it quits?
Love, as it turns out, will not sustain your marriage. It isn’t even supposed to. In fact, just the opposite is true. Marriage is supposed to sustain your love.
This is one of several of lessons I learned in a brilliant little book called Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love, by Dietrich von Hildebrand. It is short (77 pages) but important.
I wrote about it for yesterday’s post on the Catholic Match Institute blog.
Marriage, I wrote, “is an environment provided to us in which we can maintain (and when necessary, fight for) the love that brought us together.” Then I elaborated:
A book called Let Yourself Be Loved: Transforming Fear Into Hope has gone down in history as the book I was reading when a red pen exploded in my hand on a flight from Tampa to Atlanta.
But whatever I underlined when the pen exploded was worth the trouble because this book — which is short and easy to read — rocked my world. It is written by Phillip Bennett, a clinical psychologist and Episcopal priest who dissects the fears that get in love’s way and reminds us: perfect love casts out fear.
Here are eight of my favorite quotes you need to read from the book (which, let’s face it, you also need to read):