Dear Next Generation:
You have been witnessing a cheap, dollar store version of love in our current culture. From TV shows to music to popular magazines—what is portrayed looks like the most fantastic love, but in the end, it’s only a fantasy. It isn’t real. The quality of our lives is based upon the quality of our relationships. There are ways to have quality, romantic, loving relations with people, but it isn’t what they are selling in Hollywood—those are dollar store relations that are cheap, come apart at the seams, and they don’t last very long.
Real love is patient. It takes time. A gardener plants a seed, waters the soil, pulls the weeds, and waits for the fruit to grow and ripen. If he picks the fruit before it is ready, it’s hard and sour and not good for eating. Patience.
When you fall in love with someone and decide to move in together, you are essentially picking the fruit before it’s ready to come off the vine. You are acting like a husband and a wife—sharing bills, moments, chores, meals, and a bed, but that’s just it: You are acting like something you are not. Until you say “I do” in the public arena, you are not an authentic husband or wife, you are pretending.
I have seen some pretty good ceramic fruit in my day. It’s pretty to look at, but you can’t eat fake fruit, no matter how attractive it looks. Bringing back real love and romance requires patience and integrity. You will be much happier in your relationships if you don’t play a role you haven’t signed on for. Being the husband who sacrifices and puts his life on the line to protect his wife, and being a woman who desires to love and care for her husband in tender moments are the scenes of the romantic movies we watch. We yearn to live like that.
For quite a while now, the culture has espoused “free love.” Love anyone, anywhere, anytime—whatever makes you feel good. Sex is what they are selling and who doesn’t love free stuff? Even free love! Well, like every good sales pitch, the culture has left out some pretty valuable information about the free love it’s peddling. Love isn’t free and sex does have a cost. It will cost you physically and emotionally. The quality of your life deteriorates as your body and your mind write the checks for this so-called free love. I could prove it to you by listing statistics like diseases, divorces, babies without stable homes, and depression, but statistics don’t change people’s minds. Thinking changes minds.
If you want a quality, romantic, loving relationship, it will cost you. Real love is never free. Just think about the best love relationships you have witnessed. The happiest couples are real husbands and wives, not just play-acting. They are patient with one another, they sacrifice their own needs to honor the other. The happiest couples have created a beautiful garden filled with delicious fruit that has grown over time. It certainly wasn’t free. They paid a great price, but what they have is of the highest quality. You won’t find this kind of love in the dollar store.
Alyson Hudson, Florida
What advice would you like to give to the younger generations?
We call on all of our readers to share the timeless values that define right and wrong, and pass the torch, if you will, through your wisdom and hard-earned experience. We feel that the passing down of this wisdom has diminished over time, and that only with a strong moral foundation can future generations thrive.
Send your advice, along with your full name, state, and contact information to NextGeneration@epochtimes.com or mail it to: Next Generation, The Epoch Times, 229 W. 28th St., Floor 7, New York, NY 10001