I love it each time I receive a posting on Edith M Humphrey’s A Lamp For Today blog.
Her engaging no nonsense writing style plus the depth of her insight into Biblical and spiritual matters make her articles a delight. And, besides, anyone who appreciates The Princess Bride or has grandchildren who do must be a nice person ;-). The following piece by Ms. Humphrey, which appeared at: www.blogs.ancientfaith.com as: “What Have You Got Worth Living For? True Love!” – St. Valentine, Marriage and the Orthodox Faith, was especially timely for me and it may be for you as well in these days following Valentine’s Day. Ms. Humphrey is the William F. Orr Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and a member of St. George Antiochian Cathedral in Pittsburgh. RMF
“What Have You Got Worth Living For? True Love!”–St. Valentine, Marriage and the Orthodox Faith
by Edith M. Humphrey
My children’s generation grew up on a classical love-story, tinged with touches of humor: The Princess Bride, more often watched in the film version than read in the book by William Goldman. I remember my middle daughter Alexandra being delighted that the story begins with a grandfather telling his ill grandchild a story, when she was also home ill from school while watching the story on our VHS. Even the adults are typically amused by that ridiculous scene when Miracle Max blows air by means of fire-bellows into Westley’s mouth, asking the question, “What have you got worth living for?” and the “mostly-dead” young man responds, “True Love!”
Of course, romantic love is one of those things about human life that has been celebrated, exaggerated, sentimentalized and even idolized. Yet, when it is put in its proper place, the love of a man and woman is “a many-splendored thing.” As the book of Hebrews advises, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for God will judge the immoral and adulterous.” (Heb 13:4 RSV). Even more amazing is the mysterious remark of St. Paul, which speaks of the sacrificial relationship between a husband and a wife as “profound mystery” related to Christ’s love for the Church (Ephesians 5:32). The attraction of a man for a woman, and vice versa, is a powerful thing, and finds its way into the opening chapters of Genesis, when Adam recognizes “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” as God presents Eve to him. Continue reading