I touched the loose peg gently, running my hands over the warm wood of the lute. The varnish was scraped and scuffed in places. It had been treated unkindly in the past, but that didn’t make it less lovely underneath.
So yes. It had flaws, but what does that matter when it comes to matters of the heart? We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That’s as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect. -Kvothe (A Wise Man’s Fear)
I’m sure at one point in our lives we have heard or even uttered ourselves the cliched, curdling and sometimes vomit-inducing question: “Why do you love me?”
Contrary to your initial reaction, it’s not a fisherman’s wharf for compliments. Sometimes it comes from a place of insecurity and/or inferiority. Other times it comes from conflicting information between what is said, and what is done. Even still it can come from a misalignment between two people and their views, status or stages in their lives.
Of course there are many reasons why you love something or someone. But Kvothe is much wiser than John Legend, who sings “[I ] Love…all your perfect imperfections”. Well if you loved them, then that’s easy isn’t it? Get real JL, you don’t LOVE that your girlfriend is always late, or that she forgets your birthday, or is clumsy and crashes your brand new Ferrari. The marker for a deeper level of love, is to love despite. Think of it this way – the things you love about your partner: good looks, interesting hobbies, success and drive – loving these is normal. And where things are normal, it can be applied generally. As difficult as it may be to find that combination of things your partner possesses, how much harder is it to build a relationship together and then love someone despite:
“Would you date an attractive girl with a pretty face?”
“Of course, is that even a question?”
“Would you date a girl who plays video games and sports, and is musically talented?”
“Would you date a girl who is always cheerful and is always motivated to do her best?”
“Would you date a girl with a big scar across her left cheek and a small gap between her front teeth?”
“Umm, I guess? It depends…”
“Would you date a girl with no ‘interesting’ or common hobbies?”
“Well, that wouldn’t be ideal…”
“Would you date a girl who sometimes is inwardly very sad about life, has existential issues and sometimes just wants to give up instead of pressing on?”
Just to be clear, it’s not the flaws that keep us in love. It’s just that we are all flawed people, and to love someone despite their flaws is a true test. Also you don’t lord this over them either – that you’re so great and mighty – because that is not what love is. All great relationships are based on this principle. And it’s not one-sided so don’t feel inferior. Both parties love each other despite.
God loves us, and clearly we’re anything other than perfect. God isn’t waiting for us to become better people before getting to know Him. Likewise, we don’t need to get all our ducks in a row (or ‘set up one’s skittles’ for you old school Europeans out there) before committing to a relationship. It’s not about me, it’s about us.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.