True Love...It's Just Good Sense!

  • Published
  • By Ch. (Maj.) Brian McCormack
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Chaplain
In the 1995 movie "Sense and Sensibility" starring Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant  and based on the novel by Jane Austen, we learn a few important lessons about love. One thing that comes across is that true love is faithful and dependable. Early in the film, the beautiful, younger sister, Marianne, enters into an exciting, yet shallow romance with the wild and dashing John Willoughby.

Willoughby literally sweeps Marianne off her feet and proceeds to woo her until she believes there is no other man in the world. He is handsome, strong, charming, and even quotes poetry (Yes, you heard me correctly...this guy quotes poetry.). Yet as the story unfolds we discover that Willoughby may not be as "perfect" as Marianne thinks.

Meanwhile, the somewhat ordinary Colonel Brandon played by Alan Rickman is older, not quite as dashing, but sensible (remember the movie's title) and reliable. Most importantly, he continues to love Marianne through good times and bad.

I don't want to spoil the movie for you, but let's just say Willoughby's love isn't nearly as deep as it should be and Colonel Brandon turns out to be the "real deal." In an interesting way, this storyline demonstrates what the Bible teaches about true love. Take a look:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13

As Americans we might be attracted to a "love" that is more flashy, exciting, and provocative (just like Marianne was drawn to Willoughby). But notice that the most vital aspects of true love depend upon things like patience, kindness, truth, and perseverance. This is what true love is all about. It is caring for the other person even when we don't feel like it. It is making the conscious decision to love another even when it is inconvenient or hurts.

Put in another way, the contrast between a fleeting fancy and a committed relationship is like the difference between a triple scoop sundae with extra whip cream and all the toppings and a good meal of grilled chicken and broccoli. Yes, the ice cream is appealing and attractive. It may even taste better at first, but the problem is you can't survive on it. We need something more substantial. True love is the same. It may not always look exciting and it may not always get your pulse racing, but in the end it is going to bring about lasting joy and happiness.

If you are single, take some time to think about what you are looking for in a potential partner. Ask yourself, "Does this person demonstrate "true love" in the way they treat others?" Or if you are already married, consider whether you are showing "true love" to your spouse. In either case, start working on being a person of character who loves deeply.