My answer is, yes it will. But not love of yesteryear. It needs to be love today.
As many people my age were probably surprised by, but perhaps we shouldn’t have been, is that the couple that made up the 70s/80s duo “The Captain and Tennille” (Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille) are divorcing in their 70s. When I was a teen, their pictures were on everything and they seemed to project the image everyone wants to believe – that if we find that right person that it will last all of our lives (and maybe beyond). But the truth is that love needs to be alive and we can’t assume because we were good to someone in days gone by that we have done our due (kind of many men’s thoughts on dancing). Who says a twenty something needs love more than a seventy something?
All that said, don’t get me wrong, sometimes people can’t help but change. I find it incredibly moving when a loved one sticks with their spouse when they are disabled (maybe even emotionally disabled) and they stay with them. But that, again, is about current love – the love of one spouse for another. I do believe God wants us to give it our best every day we breath for our spouse to feel loved. But if we stop trying, and our spouse finds herself/himself unloved, how alive is that marriage? Like a doctor in an emergency room after an accident, all the court is doing is pronouncing dead what has already died.
Married folks also can’t assume that their love for their spouse, which seems enough to us, is enough for their partner. Love is about being able to appreciate the perspective of the other and not just our own. I have known couples who have divorced where one says he/she does not feel loved but their spouse protests and says they never stopped loving them. We always need to understand what love means to our spouse as well as our own personal definition.
Divorce rates among people over fifty doubled in the past ten years. It is a cold hard reality that everyone, including the church, needs to be cognizant of.
I share this not to pass judgment on Daryl and Toni. Sometimes all we can do is approach the throne of grace and ask for God’s help as we move forward. But I do believe we all need to keep the love alive in our relationships and not assume just because any reltationship has lasted for decades that it will last forever. It only will if love keeps it together.
Until next time,