Marital Love – With 35+ years of marriage to the same wonderful man, of this I can speak from experience. Many people ask me, “What’s your secret?” Let’s face the truth – in this day and age, at least in the United States, we don’t see one-time marriages with longevity much anymore. When we do see them, we see a consistent theme: an enduring love that has weathered the storms of life. So, you ask, what is the secret to maintaining that enduring love?
To answer this question, I must take you back in time before I met my wonderful husband, Nick. In my teens I dated a few “frogs” before I met my “prince.” In that time, I learned what I didn’t want in a man. A few put themselves first; a few didn’t know what they wanted from life, and one was actually doing illegal acts! From these experiences, I learned how to recognize my “soul mate” when he did arrive on the scene, because these “frogs” had taught me what I was looking for in a “prince” – kindness, generosity, patience, strength, and gentleness – all worthy virtues, possessed by a very virtuous man – Nick Lieto.
I do believe in “soul mates.” Think about it – You do not choose who you will fall in love with in this life. You realize that you are in love, after it happens. I believe that it was God’s plan that Nick and I were to meet. We grew up about 13 miles apart, and to this day, wonder if we ever crossed each other’s path prior to our official meeting date in 1977. It was God who brought us together as part of His plan. It was His will that we should be together. The complementarity extends beyond that of male and female. Nick is my strength to my weakness and vice versa.
Over the past 35+ years, Nick and I have weathered many storms of life together, from times of unemployment and financial worries to illnesses and loss of loved ones. What has always seen us through these times is our covenantal oath – our vows – our promise to each other – to be there in sickness and in health, in the good times and the bad, until death do us part. Those vows, that promise, which we made to each other, bound us together. It is what we hold on to when those hurricane winds of life try to tear us apart. That is the answer to the secret of an enduring love, a marital love – the vows said on our wedding day are more than pretty words said on a celebratory occasion. The vows said before Christ, are the cornerstone and foundation of our marriage. Together, we lean on that oath when times are tough, and together, we soar to new heights with that oath in times of prosperity. So, if you want to have an enduring love, make sure that the covenantal oath that you take on your wedding day really means something to you.
Parental Love – How it fits into God’s Plan. We’ll discuss parental love in our next reflection on the virtue of Love. Don’t miss it!