Which comes first? … the love story or the family …

“For unto us a child is born …” it is indeed that time of year again when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. And it seems as if the rest of the world celebrates as well and there is nothing wrong with that no matter what the reason. If this is just the opportunity to pull the family together before the year ends and share a meal, a smile, and maybe pass a gift, good for you. No lectures from this blogger.

There is something that touches our souls in the anticipation of the birth of a child. A child is all hope and potential. They are starting out fresh, the slate is clean. It is all that they can do to take in breath and nourishment. Hopefully, in making it through the birth experience, they can have a few days of just bonding with the parents before trying to figure out life.

This is the start of something great, or is it? We want to believe that children are the result of a great love story, so the real start may have begun with the love story. Two fully integrated mature adults connecting in a spark that lights the universe. That’s the ideal. The reality may be something a little less romantic. Most children are still conceived as the result of a human anatomical process that may or may not have included a love story. And although the one giving birth was once a fresh new-born herself, full of hope and potential, life happens, and there may have been some damage along the way.

As smart as we are, with all of the advancements and technology that we have, we still struggle with the elephant in the room, our emotional intelligence. In the 1950s, “the pill” was created which helped prevent unwanted pregnancies, and with unbridled freedom, the “sexual revolution” took place. I’m no prude, but don’t undersell the importance of the love story in starting a family.

A love story goes way beyond magic in the bedroom. A love story includes loving your mate’s family, no matter how that may be composed. If you can’t stand your potential future in-laws, maybe this is as far as the relationship goes. The apple does not fall very far from the tree.

A love story includes discussions on values before you ever hook up. Talk about your dreams, where you want to live, what is important to you, religion, politics, music, what your hot buttons are, money, careers, children, nothing can be off the table. Work out your ranking system, deep dish pizza once a week may be a 2 for him, but a 9 for her. What kind of car do you want to drive? That may be a deal breaker right there.

A love story includes what you are thinking about that person when you are not with them. Do you think they have it easier than you do? Are you constantly worried that they are connecting with someone else? Do you think about things and places you want to share with them?

Love is a verb. It’s not something you fall into and out of. With rare exception, the birth or adoption of a child should have started long before with a love story.

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