While trying to organize my bookshelves somewhat better the other day, I renewed acquaintances with a few old friends. While flipping through the pages of L.M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle, I found this quotation that made me pause for a moment to think:
"I'm glad I never had any children," said Cousin Sarah. "If they don't break your heart in one way they do it in another."
"Isn't it better to have your heart broken than to have it wither up?" queried Valancy. "Before it could be broken it must have felt something splendid. That would be worth the pain."
I can't help but think that there is some truth in it. Understand that I'm not condoning falling in love with or giving your heart to just anyone. But in trying to shut up all love, romantic or sisterly, I cannot see it as right. As C.S. Lewis said,
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
One of the problems with the emotional purity and courtship movement lies in how we can tend to lock our hearts away – oftentimes out of fear. Fear of being hurt. Fear of falling. Fear of being vulnerable.
We talk about boundaries, about not becoming close friends with guys, about maintaining emotional purity. But at what cost? Are we truly seeking to please God or are we foolishly trying to insulate ourselves from all pain? You see, to love is to be vulnerable. And to be vulnerable is to open yourself to the possibility of pain.
But, in the end, I think it is worth it.
Everything comes at a cost. Everything has a risk. Love - true love - cannot live with fear. Fear stifles and freezes more than anything. Don’t be reckless with love, but don’t be afraid of it. Trust God with it. Be vulnerable. It will hurt sometimes, but the beauty and the joy that results…it’s worth it.