They tell you not to let the sun go down on your anger (which in Britain leaves you about 14 minutes a day of angry time if you’re employed), and they tell you that sex is good (because we all need so much convincing). But they don’t tell you about the fear.

I tell all my single friends about the fear. They tell me only marriage will make them happy and I tell them about two things:

1. That marriage (hopefully) means never experiencing falling in love, first kisses or tentatively holding the hand of a stranger again.

2. The fear.

I want to tell you about the fear.

I’m a good evangelical, you see. Well, I’m an evangelical. And from the moment I got saved at a Baptist summer camp and accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for my sins, I believed that I was going to heaven. The fear of hell that I’d experienced all my life lifted from my shoulders when I said that tearful prayer. From then on I believed that to live was Christ and to die was gain. Gain. Not in a figure-of-speech way, but for real.

But some time after I got married, that changed. Quite against my wishes and completely unplanned, I realised that I loved my wife so much that the very idea of her dying filled me with fear. The fear. I feared separation from her, feared her death more than I have feared anything in my life. More than that, for the first time in years I feared my own death because of the pain and loneliness I knew it would cause her.

As you can imagine, I was annoyed. I took my complaint to my wife: “Look what you’ve done!” I said. “Why could you not be less likeable, less beautiful, less kind?”

“You’re an idiot,” she said. This is why I love her. So that kind of made things worse.

Let me ask you something. Have you ever noticed how often people die in movies? Even supposedly funny movies? I have. And you know all those heart-crushing moments of loss? Your marriage will experience that. Unless you’re into synchronised dying (and trust me, I’ve considered it).

You see, I love my wife desperately. And platitudes about a heaven in which I may not see her (or worse, may have forgotten her) have never helped me see death as anything other than pure and devastating loss. Yeah, yeah. I know. Bad Christian.

But recently, through talks and books by people like Tom Wright and John Polkinghorne, I’ve become familiar with the idea that our destiny is resurrection. Bodily resurrection, in a world like this, only better. Without death.

It doesn’t take away the fear completely. I still kiss my wife like it’s the last time every night we go to sleep.

But the hope of resurrection makes me think: God may love us, may have made a plan for frail human beings who love this world too much. And that makes me love Him more.

Written by Jonty Langley // Follow Jonty on  Twitter //  The Narnian Socialist

Jonty Langley used to live in South Africa but moved to England for the weather and banks. A former radio and Goth-club DJ, he writes for Huffington Post UK and lots of Christian publications. He loves them all, but is his favourite. His day job is at a mission agency.

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