real LOVE, and the Bible

We have all heard the “love is patient/kind/etc etc” part in Corinthians. The part i’m curious about is “it does not hold grudges.” Now consider a married couple. Married for any number of years/months, but one of them turns out to be a child molester (or something of similar disgust). And the other spouse wants out of that marriage. Is it assumed that love never existed at all and the ‘good’ spouse has fallen out of love?

The way I understand the part about grudges is that the assumption is you’ve agreed to forgive the person, and move on. If you continue to reflect back on the offense, or throw it in the guilty party’s face, then you’re “holding a grudge.”

When it comes to leaving a marriage, it does not automatically mean that love never existed. Biblically, adultery is grounds for divorce. Just because your spouse cheated on you, and you cannot live with them thereafter does not mean that you never loved them in the first place. On the contrary, if you’re upset enough to leave, that means that their actions hurt you deeply. If you did not love your spouse, you would not care as much.

Divorce does not always mean that love has died; sometimes it’s simply that the couple cannot live together any more. They may always love one another, or at least retain some affection, but realize that they’re not compatible, for whatever reason.

I remember a poem that goes something like this: (and I now I’m butchering it terribly)

  • My darling dear,
    my no longer cherished,
    must we say it was not love,
    just because it perished? *

When it comes to a heinous crime such as child molestation, I’m sure that sometimes the disgust can make the “good” spouse fall out of love, but this is not always the case. I know someone who works in a prison, and he has mentioned the spouses of child molesters who still intensely love their husbands. I have often heard that the saying that “true love never dies,” but it can be killed by actions which one party considers uttery unforgivable.

Imagine a Jerry Springer episode though. The petite wife is on stage for having an abusive husband. Logic (Spring and audience) would say to her “leave him since he is such a heinous person” however, when asked why she stays with him the answer from these kinds of people are “but I love him.”