Looking in the mirror as we speak? Happy with what you see?
Sometimes it seems as if there’s a freshness date printed invisibly on a woman’s forehead, and as that date approaches you can feel the lessening of interest from men, even from your husband, until one day you can walk down the sidewalk and the only thing anyone thinks about you is “Can’t that old woman walk faster?”
Or you’re a guy of serious middle age, with a serious middle. Not the athletic boy your wife fell in love with at the soccer field, then saw at church. You’re doing all right financially and career-wise, but need to be accepted as your forty-something self, because time doesn’t run backwards.
So, you’re married to each other. Now what? Do those prickly feelings push you apart as the love you pledged to each other seems to fade as you both approach or settle into middle age?
Or do you remain loyal? Loyalty is a word you seldom hear these days. Something about it rings of old-fashioned devotion and faithfulness, surely not something one must make decisions about. Those who are devoted to one another must have some kind of inclination towards the trait. Or is it so?
There is no virtue in blindly following some male instincts; trading someone loved for the younger version. Call it love, call it infatuation, when you follow a young woman’s sway down the street with attentive eyes, it makes mockery of the long-term love of a committed couple. Desire is not decision. It is a thing of the moment.
But loyalty, recognizing the richness of the relationship beyond the physical perfection of the people within it, dealing with the losses and gains as time rolls on, is a choice. The pledge made in your marriage vows can be renewed and restructured, tightened up like the sail of a ship ready to run before the wind, entering into the sunrise of God’s own love and loyalty. Our love and loyalty to each other is a mirror image of His love and loyalty to us. The loyal couple is blessed.