Dr. James Emery White Christian Blog and Commentary

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Who Wants to Live with Someone for Eighty Years

  • Dr. James Emery White

    The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of CrosswalkHeadlines.

    James Emery Whiteis the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and…

  • Updated Sep 16, 2010

In a recent interview, actress Cameron Diaz made it quite clear that she is content to be - and intent on being - a serial dater.


In an interview with the UK's Stylist Magazine, she says, "I think the big misconception in our society is that we're supposed to meet the one when we're 18, and we're supposed to get married to them and love them for the rest of our lives.  Bulls**t."


(Okay, tell us how you really feel.)


"Who would want to be with the same person for 80 years?" she added.  "Why not break it up a bit...I think people get freaked out about getting married and spending 20 or 30 years sleeping with the same person."


So what does Diaz intend to do?


"Have someone for five years and another person for another five years.  Life is long and lucky and yes, love might just last forever, but you don't always live with the person you love forever.  You can have that love the rest of your life but you might love someone else along the way, and there's nothing wrong with that."


It's hard to know where to begin.


But I know how I felt after reading her comments.  I wasn't angry.  I wasn't disgusted.  I was sad.  She would probably be incensed at the very thought of it, but it's true.  I felt deeply, deeply sorry for her.


Not simply because she doesn't hold out much hope for a relationship that would stand the test of time; not simply because she seemingly reduces such a relationship, if it were to have any kind of shelf life, to decent sex; but because she has no sense that a life lived in monogamy, over a lifetime, has any real value, much less beauty.


But it is beautiful, and fortunately others in Hollywood see it.


Consider the touching and tender aging sequence portrayed in the opening scenes of "Up," or the moving images of the elderly couple in "Inception."   It would seem that there are still those in Hollywood who know that there is value and beauty in a love that commits; a love that grows old together; a love that is far, far deeper than mere physical intimacy.


In the afterword of my new book, Christ Among the Dragons, I tell of a visit with Billy and Ruth Graham at their home in the Blue Ridge mountains of Montreat, North Carolina.  I was touched, as so many before me, by his humility and genuine grace.  But even more by his passionate love for Ruth, who sadly passed away just a few short months after our visit.


Following an hour or so of conversation, he walked us back to the bedroom where Ruth was confined to bed.  She had gamely prepared to receive us, and had been moved to a nearby chair, next to a low-lying bookshelf where notebooks containing books of the Bible had been prepared for her with oversized type so that she could read them despite her failing eyesight.


They talked of their nightly devotions with one another, how they prayed for their children, and how those who said there was no romance at their age were wrong.  "We have romance through our eyes," Billy explained.


He was right.  They did.


My wife and I have only been married for twenty-five years, long by many standards - short by ours.  The richness of our relationship grows with time.  There is no one else who shares my life, my memories, my heart, more than she does.  There is no one I can talk to the way I talk to her.  She is my best friend.


So who wants to live with someone for eighty years?


I do.


James Emery White





Cameron Diaz Doesn't Want to Be With One Guy Forever by PopEater Staff, July 22, 2010.  To read the interview visit: http://www.popeater.com/2010/07/22/cameron-diaz-dating-love/?icid=main|htmlws-main-n|dl2|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.popeater.com%2F2010%2F07%2F22%2Fcameron-diaz-dating-love%2F