Relationships 5.0: How I mutilated a book… for love!

This is a story… about a girl. and a boy. (that’s me) and about how this boy read a really good book before talking to that gorgeous girl. and then he chopped up the book. Just for fun.

Enter C.S. Lewis. One of my favorite christian thinkers. He wrote a book about love:

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“The Four Loves” by C.S. Lewis. A great book! (and reasonably priced at my local Half Price Books)

In The Four Loves, Lewis builds an all-encompassing philosophy about love: from love of an old friend; to the love of country; to the love of a spouse. Ultimately, he points out that all love comes from God and is a reflection of His love for us.

I thought this would be a great book to teach me a lot about my relationship with Toni. Especially since, instead of just getting advice on marriage, I got a look at how to getĀ allĀ your relationships right: to love as Jesus loved. I highlighted a lot of passages in the book that I liked. C.S. Lewis just says things so well. (especially if you read with a British accent)

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“as if a long face were a sort of moral disinfectant”

The book contains a stinging critique of certain perversions of love such as thinking that seriousness or strength of feeling determine moral realities in love.

It also contains a clear call to action and risk! There is no safe investment! To love at all is to be vulnerable.

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Lewis ends recommending we take the risk of love because “The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from… love is Hell.”

So why did I decide to mutilate such a great book? Because it was time to do just that: to love and to be vulnerable. It was time to ask Toni to marry me.

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Toni had been a great friend to me, and we had faced many a daunting debate round side by side. It was time to ask her to be the love of my life, facing life together (face to face) as well as head-on (side by side). After thoroughly reading and highlighting my copy, I bought a ring, cut a hole, and placed the ring very secretly.

How did it turn out? Luckily, I had a secret photographer (my brother Jonathan) hidden in the bushes that captured the look on her face when she opened the book:

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She said yes! And I am so excited to share life with my best friend. She’s beautiful; she laughs at my jokes even though she knows I’m a dork; she works incredibly hard; and she’s probably the most empathetic person I know. Most of all, though, she’s got the main ingredient right: she loves others by loving Jesus first. She’s amazing. I can’t wait!

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(Credit for this shot goes to Katy. I’m also getting another cool artistic family out of the deal.)

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