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:


“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)


“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.


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.


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:


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!


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