To Be Known and Loved

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God

So many older couples snip at each other even in public. It certainly isn’t easy to get old. People lose: vigor; cognition; hearing; hair; taste buds; fully functioning lungs; balance; non-ringing ears; the pace of digestion and soft, unwrinkled skin. It is far from an easy process for men and women alike.

In addition it’s hard for any two people to live together. Little things get on one another’s nerves. Neither one can listen at the superficial anddeep level constantly, particularly on a twenty four hour schedule.

At retirement, if one achieves that paradigm, it is completely new to both spouses. Ever since the two people dated they likely never had a situation where there were no kids and no jobs to get their attention. Someone once said something akin to, couples marry for richer or poorer, but not for lunch. These are the reasons why from my own view holy matrimony should be on a journey towards holiness.

In theory if two people stay together for decades they may well have that priceless knowingness Keller refers to where they both stick around. At a very deep level, they may well love each other similar to the way God loves. They need to progress towards that deep level. How valuable is that? As Tayari Jones put it in her book, An American Marriage, “Love is always hard and always worth it.”