He reminds young couples that they are the brink of the future, and that "young love needs to keep dancing toward the future with immense hope. Hope is the leaven that in those first years of engagement and marriage, makes it possible to look beyond arguments, conflicts and problems and to see things in a broader perspective."
Beautiful, it's true. Looking back at my married life (33 years) when we first started out we were stressed out, finishing college, looking for jobs, eating out of the change jar. It was hard. But when I look back and remember those times I think, wow, it was so much easier then than now.
Impossible you say? I would have agreed with you when I was young. But now, I can truly say things are harder, yet when I look at my husband, I wouldn't have wanted to go through any of those things we experienced in our 33 years of marriage with anyone but him.
Francis goes on to say this about mature love: “As the body ages, it still expresses that personal identity that first won our heart. Even if others can no longer see the beauty of that identity, a spouse continues to see it with eyes of love and so his or her affection does not diminish. Lovers do not see their relationship pass merely temporary. Those who marry do not expect their excitement to fade. “
He suggests that married couples try a little more tenderness. Tenderness is a virtue often overlooked in our world of frenetic and superficial relationships.
And yes, my friends, he is correct. Without tenderness, my husband would have run out of the house when I was pregnant with our first child and could not stand the smell of our apartment. We had to eat out every night and only after eating a meal away from home, usually a salad, could I stomach going back into our apartment. ( hormones and super sensitive noses don't mix.)
Without tenderness, I would have thrown up my hands and said, "forget it' when my husband's hobby, martial arts, landed up becoming 'our' hobby, our family vocation (for the last 27 years) and a side-line business. He found a way to help protect kids and who was I to say no?
Without tenderness, we couldn't have gotten through raising three beautiful children, watch one of each of our parents pass, deal with many heartaches that come along in a life, medical struggles, tests of faith and trust in God.
So you see, even though he's never been married, he lived in a family growing up. Family, no matter what your vocation is as adult, affects you for the rest of your life. Family is togetherness that knows no bounds. Even if your family is out of sorts, not exactly like you'd like it to be, it's family, through thick and thin, good times and bad, better or worse, richer or poorer.
God bless you and your family, your spouse, your parents, your children, your pastor and friends. You need all of them to get through this life. Always remember tenderness...and you'll grow old and the best will yet to be!