Marriage & Family Life: Incarnate love
by Adam Storey | February 19, 2020
February can be a busy month in Marriage and Family ministry, as we celebrate National Marriage Week and Valentine’s Day, and as many of our parishes host marriage enrichment events, talks, and celebrations. During this time it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness and forget to celebrate my own marriage, to honor my own wife, and to incarnate our love.
"Incarnate our love" might be a clunky description, but the concept is simple. Valentine’s Day is a reminder that our love needs to take on flesh. Through date nights, through flowers and cards, through setting aside distractions and just being together. And while February is a time where our whole society celebrates love, it’s important to remember that our love needs to take on flesh, not just once a year but on a daily basis. We do this in words of affection, in small acts of service, and in taking the time to linger with each other, even if only for a few moments before work or bed.
Letting our love become incarnate is vital because it is what helps keep our love alive! One way to think about this is to notice that often our emotions flow from our actions. We live in an age that greatly, and rightly, values authenticity, or being true to oneself. But in the spirit of authenticity there is sometimes the perception that in order to be true to oneself my actions always need to follow my emotions. If I don’t feel “in love” then gestures of love are seen as out of place, or worse dishonest. And yet, ask any married couple and they will tell you that it’s precisely when we least feel “in love” that we need to foster actions of love, because it’s through these choices that we can draw passion back into a marriage.
So I’m grateful for National Marriage Week and Valentine’s Day. I’m grateful for the reminder that love needs to take on flesh, it needs to be chosen and acted upon every day. It needs to become incarnate, because it’s when love becomes incarnate that it given the space to grow. I live this out very imperfectly in my own life, but February is a great opportunity to renew our commitment to incarnate love!