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Growing in Love

A few years ago my wife wrote a blog post about how loving me is keen to climbing a treacherous mountain.  No offense was taken, because let’s be honest…I’m not always perfect.  I’m sure there are couples around the world today celebrating their love through various Valentine-type ways; but today I’d like to reflect on both what has been, and what will be.  I’ve been married almost 14 years to the girlfriend I had in High School.  We’ve lived in different states, different town, and many, many different houses.  We’re raising 3 of our children, and often take in additional foster kids just to “spice it up” a little.

When I look at our marriage, I think of it as the marks on the wall that track your kids height.  Years ago we were a mark way down at the floor, but through time and effort; we’ve slowly moved that mark up the wall.  The thing is that the higher we get up the wall, the larger the wall becomes!  But I know I have a lifetime to grow, expand, and learn to serve my wife more.

It’s in the spirit of that growing love that I dedicate one of the most famous poems ever written….

Sonnets from the Portuguese, XLIII || (From Robert Browning to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of everyday’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.

I love thee freely, as men strive for Right,

I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith;

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life! and if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.

1 Comment

  1. Starr Cliff · February 14, 2012

    Love you.