I woke up this morning singing a song. It was from an old movie by the same name, and all I’ve ever really known of it was the title lyric, the way it opened big and sweeping…

Love is a many-splendored thing

So, that’s the only part that’s been playing on the stereo of my mind. I thought I’d look into it a little further.

Love is a many-splendored thing
It’s the April rose
That only grows in the early spring
Love is nature’s way of giving
A reason to be living
The golden crown that makes a man a king

Once on a high and windy hill
In the morning mist
Two lovers kissed
And the world stood still
Then your fingers touched
My silent heart and taught it how to sing
Yes, true love’s
A many-splendored thing

Beautiful, yes?

Another thing about this song is that word, “splendored.” I looked it up to see if it was even a real word, and it isn’t, as far as I can tell. I sort of love that. The splendors – the brilliance, magnificence, grandeur and glory – of love were so deep, so plentiful, that the writer had to make up a word.

One might be tempted to be so swept up in the romance of the song as to think it only really applies to new love, to love that is fresh with infatuation, bright and shiny, gleaming in the sun. After all, there comes a time in every love when they may not be kissing on a high and windy hill, but shouting a quick goodbye from it, as one leaves the other at the soccer field with one child, while racing to dance with the other. There may be years of passing in the night, financial struggles, and exhaustion. In a lot of relationships, those are the things that take the shine right off new love and send so many packing to escape the struggle.

But in a true, committed love, while the realities of life may dull the initial fairytale glow, they don’t tarnish it. Instead, even though those lovers may fall asleep on the sofa during the first time they’ve had alone together all week, they wake up holding hands. And they keep holding hands when job loss threatens, and their child is diagnosed, and they have to file for bankruptcy. In the midst of reality, there are still flowers picked from the yard and stuck in a tea glass by the sink. There are still post-it notes stuck on the mirror filled with sweet words. There are still impromptu back rubs. Little things that buff instead of tarnish, that hold together instead of breaking apart.

Bright and brilliant. Beautiful.

Even after days and weeks and years of reality, those lovers can still kiss and the world stand still. The realities of life may have dulled early love’s luster, but they also served to give mature love a deep and rich glow. Tried, tested, and proved, thankfully they can still touch each other’s silent hearts and teach them how to sing.

Because, love…well, it really IS a many-splendored thing.


“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Matthew 19:4-6 NLT

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:9-10 NLT