Batter my heart, three-person’d God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
— John Donne
We have been learning about marriage in our Wednesday night Bible studies at church, and as a result, the girls and I have been looking at the different aspects of the time between childhood and 'official' adulthood-- a time to fall in love with the Lord. The young person is becoming more and more independent of her parents, and before she develops a special love for another person, she ought to develop her love for God. This, in combination with our current Bible reading in Exodus (especially focused on the hardness of Pharaoh's heart) helps us particularly to hear the message of this poem. We are hanging it on our refrigerator along with a status update from a wise young friend of Aravis', which reads:
"Finally got it last night at church: you can't know love if you don't know God. I've been given the precious opportunity to fall in love with GOD FIRST before I fall for anyone else."