First a little about Mr. Lewis:
Clive Staples Lewis was born in Ireland, in Belfast on 29 November 1898. His mother was a devout Christian and made efforts to influence his beliefs. When she died in his early youth her influence waned and Lewis was subject to the musings and mutterings of his friends who were decidedly agnostic and atheistic. It would not be until later, in a moment of clear rationality that he first came to a belief in God and later became a Christian.
Throughout his academic career he wrote clearly on the topic of religion. His most famous works include the Screwtape Letters and the Chronicles of Narnia. The atmosphere at Oxford and Cambridge tended to skepticism. Lewis used this skepticism as a foil. He intelligently saw Christianity as a necessary fact that could be seen clearly in science.
"Surprised by Joy" is Lewis's autobiography chronicling his reluctant conversion from atheism to Christianity in 1931. He died in 1963.
When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. This is the first quote from C.S. Lewis.
I could not have said it better. God is love and if we truly know God then we better understand what true love is. Unfortunately, being human, and we are, this means too often we must do some soul searching because love is not always the driving force in all that we do.
Another C.S. Lewis quote goes as follows:
This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted.
To me this means love once given is not something you call off because of bad weather. In other words if you truly love then you honestly know how to forgive seventy times seventy if needed. Do we always find this easy to do? I’m asking you. I might add to this that many times when we find it within ourselves to forgive we often find it is ourselves that need the forgiveness more.
Another time C.S. Lewis put it this way:
Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained. Source: Answers to Questions on Christianity
And in my forty-some years of marriage I have found that more often than not the ultimate good for the loved person reflects right back on you. This is especially true when that loved one is your creator. But let’s talk husband and wife. When one is not happy, neither is.
This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted, says C.S. Lewis and Lewis Duffey adds to this the following:
So she lost her temper and said something she really didn’t mean and I do that too. When the ire subsides and we both are calmer it is really funny how many times we each wonder what we were thinking.
C.S. Lewis added this: Mortal lovers must not try to remain at the first step; for lasting passion is the dream of a harlot and from it we wake in despair.
I had to deliberate on this one because at first I was not sure what he was getting at. Then it dawned on me. The passion of young love is for the young. As you get older and your energies begin to fade you need something that does not fade but actually grows as you go. Hence long after young love has faded there will need to be something that does not fade but grows stronger.
While the passions are fading you become more aware of little things you didn’t notice and these things become the rock upon which you build your relationship. C.S. Lewis put it this way: To love is to be vulnerable. And what can I add to this.
We all know Jesus taught us to, and I quote, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” C.S. Lewis added all there needs to be added. He said, “
Do not waste time bothering whether you "love" your neighbor; act as if you did. He goes on to offer this advice to those who trouble over this. It goes as the following:
“When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.” To this I might add here that you will also find yourself liking yourself more, too.
This next C.S. Lewis quote is a pretty deep thought:
All sorts of people are fond of repeating the Christian statement that "God is love." But they seem not to notice that the words 'God is love' have no real meaning unless God contains at least two persons. Love is something that one person has for another person. If God was a single person, then before the world was made, He was not love.
I think I might correct Mr. Lewis on this one but only on one minor point. God was never alone. The bible tells us in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and there was nothing made without him. Jesus told us, “I am the word.” Therefore God was never alone and so to my way of thinking God was and is love.
Mr. Lewis stated this:
“He loved us not because we are lovable, but because He is love”.
“In some way, it is natural for us to wish that God had designed for us a less glorious and less arduous destiny;” says C.S. Lewis,” but then we are wishing not for more love but for less.”
This next quote I find to be an uplifting quote for each man and wife and I might also include the whole family which is the outcome of this union. It goes like this:
“Love as distinct from "being in love" is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself.” Source: Mere Christianity, p. 99.
Says Mr. Lewis: “On the whole, God's love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for Him.”
And this quote reflects upon our love for man or wife, children, sisters, brothers or the folks next door. I cannot tell you how many times I have cried out, “Oh dear God, why do you not simply turn away from the likes of me. It is only too often when I do not like me. Yet he keeps loving and forgiving. Why is that?
Here is one of my very favorite C.S. Lewis quotes:
“To ask that God's love should be content with us as we are is to ask that God should cease to be God.” Earlier we quoted Mr. Lewis saying “Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained” I must ask you, my friend if God loves us could he not want the best for us?
If we learn to love God we better love those whose lives we touch. This includes our soul mate, our children, neighbors as well as those we work with and even the man behind the counter at the local grocery store. And you know what? We learn to like ourselves better. Always keep in mind, too that love and forgiveness are soul mates also.
God bless you,