(A post peppered with gratuitous pictures from our wedding, you know, because it was wonderful and when else am I going to get the chance to post them?)
Do you ever wonder why it’s so hard for moms when their teenage boy reaches the age when he won’t hug her in front of his friends? Sure there’s the sense of the end of an era, of starting the process of letting go, but I think there’s something else mixed in there: he’s no longer willing to look foolish in order to demonstrate his love for mom.
Love requires a bit of foolishness. It is not in itself foolish by any means. It is, however, brave and lavish and delights in even the most insignificant aspects of the beloved. At times, these things can add up to looking foolish in a world that prizes things like “being put together” and “in control.” Love is wild and creative and grand. It’s not bound by the laws of decency.
“For if we are out of our minds, it is for God; if we are rational, it is for you.”
~St. Paul in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians (5:13ff)
I’m someone who is very attracted to all things aesthetically-pleasing. I can be easily won over by good advertising or striking packaging. It makes me horrible at grocery shopping. I’m that girl that buys the infomercial stuff. But lately I realized that an emphasis on the aesthetic was getting in the way of other important things too; like loving my husband.
It’s like I had in the back of my mind that there was a camera tuned in to our daily lives in our little apartment. I had this “properness gauge” in the back of my mind judging our life at all times. Does our house look nice enough to blog about? Would my friends think badly of us if they knew how long it had been since I last vacuumed? We should make the bed and put the throw pillows back on there, even if Tom thinks they’re useless. We just should. It’s how things are done, ok?
These little household worries are nothing much in and of themselves. But I realized I was allowing the properness gauge to judge how I expressed love to my husband too. I wouldn’t let myself be foolishly in love with him. What if someone saw?
Then one morning, as I was getting changed, Tom bounded quite foolishly into our bedroom and gave me a big hug. “What was that for?” I asked skeptically. “I was just in the kitchen and had a thought: ‘I should go hug my wife.’ So I did!”
He left to go continue getting ready, but as I turned toward my bureau to choose a pair of earrings, tears were in my eyes. My husband loves me so much. He’s willing to look completely foolish to show me how much he loves me. Get out of my head properness gauge! I want to love my husband that much too. So there.
Paul’s “out of his mind” love for Christ impelled him to do crazy things, like go to Corinth and make a case for Jesus even though he didn’t have all the fancy qualifications other travelling teachers may have had. He did it because God loved us so much he did totally foolish-looking things like becoming man and dying on a cross.
But of course, despite its appearance of foolishness, love is not foolish at all. It is powerful. It is life-changing. It is inspiring and encouraging. It gives us strength and the courage to do wonderful foolish things.
So on my second wedding anniversary, I’m raising a glass to loving foolishly. I love my husband like crazy, world! So there!