Anyway, this article is great because it points out that dating and marriage require serious thought because it takes a lot of responsibility - and virtue. He takes us through St. Paul's famous "Love is patient, Love is kind..." and really shows us, concretely, what that means and how we need these virtues in order to be "ready" to date and get married.
For example, "Love is a very Godly thing. And the love we seek to have for ourselves is really something only God can give. Unless we embrace that with maturity, we are not going to have success in our relationships with others, and certainly not in marriage...(Paul) is indicating here that love is a sign of maturity; of being a man or woman (an adult). Children are self-absorbed! To be childish is to be selfish, which is a definition of immaturity. To be only concerned with self. Look at what he points out about what love is not: jealous, pompous, inflated, rude, seeking own interests, rejoicing over wrongdoing. These are childish things!
Men and women who want to be married or who are married need to take inventory of themselves regarding their childish habits, and work to rid themselves of them by God’s grace...(we) can lack the capability of unconditional love, that which wills the good of the other. That’s what love is. That is the love that solidifies and dignifies marriage. It is only possible if we love God and truly seek change through a life of grace. And it takes practice. MUCH practice! May we all take St. Paul’s advice and get to work putting aside our childish ways, and taking mature steps toward being an adult, which means being a responsible person who loves and seeks to serve. If you want the privilege of being a married person, practice love that is not self-seeking, but that is selfless and desires the happiness of the other. That will be your own happiness."
Basically, Anthony is pointing out that it takes maturity to love - so I would encourage you to take the time to learn how to love, how to be selfless. And this can start in your own family! I remember someone once telling me that if I really wanted to prepare for the person I would marry someday, then I should begin to look at how I treated my dad and my brothers...because that's the way that I would learn to properly love. Hmmm. Something to think about.
Have a great Lent! :)