[The following Lewis quotation is taken from Timothy Keller, The Reason for God (Riverhead, 2008)]

Love is risky…


According to C. S. Lewis (The Four Loves – 1960)


“Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies…



[MORE…continuing the above]


…and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket* or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket–safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy**, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation.”

According to this, freedom (that we so deeply value) is not the absence of limitations and constraints, but finding the right ones. And in marriage this involves a “mutual loss of independence.”***


* A casket in older (than today’s) English is also a special ornamental box that is designed to hold and protect special personal jewelry and other valuables, as well as a coffin. There seems to be a play on the double meaning here.

** “Tragedy” in its classic meaning is a type of stage play (the opposite of “comedy” where the goal is to make people laugh) that typically results in a somber, sad conclusion.

*** The last sentence paraphrases Keller.

Author: John Knapp