One of the things which is abundant on The Simpsons is love, and I know the show is intended to be a comedy and it serves it’s purpose well. After nearly thirty years it still has a flare and it still better than about 90% of the shows on television right now. When I look at the relationships on the show there is an underlying love which many of the characters have for each other. While it’s a dysfunctional marriage Homer and Marge have a strong marriage, there is a balance and a need for each other. Yes, Homer does something stupid which test the boundaries of marriage all the time, but Homer and Marge make it work. In a time where people will get divorced over a political candidate, Homer and Marge look pretty good. A marriage is designed to be together for better or for worse, and there is a lot of both in the Simpson’s relationship. For richer or for poor, you better bet Homer and Marge passed that test. Sickness and in healthy, check, until death do us part, check (sort of). While how their daily lives play out may not always be desirable at the end of the day these two lovebirds stick together. Their relationship is real, and that’s something we need more of. Homer and Marge don’t pretend everything is perfect, but their love shows examples of both eros and agape love. Their love is pure and time tested. While many of us will look at this couple and immediately say this is not my marriage then either you may be in denial or suffering from a poor relationship. A marriage without conflict is a marriage full of lies. Every relationship has conflict, but the truly strong ones endure it and persevere. Persevere even when you’re married to an overweight, lazy, impulsive, alcoholic, crude man.
Homer and Marge epitomize what marriage should be and that is two imperfect souls coming together to make it work. They have a job, house, kids, and food on the table. In the midst of the selfishness which can often be seen, there is an unselfishness which is only seen in pure love. Now let me make something perfectly clear, Homer and Marge do not have a perfect marriage, it would be naive at best to call it that, but their bond is a bond. Neither is complete without the other, neither are themselves without the other, and birds suddenly appear when the other is near to the other.
Now I could list of for days some of the flaws which appear in this marriage between Homer’s drinking, job changes, his emotional affair, and so on or Marge’s gambling problem, emotional affair, and so on the story was always the same Homer and Marge got over it and made it work. Like I mentioned before they are marriage warriors who have weathered the storm time after time. Many marriages would have collapsed after on of the things which challenge them. Now I know it’s a little easier with the help of writing and animation, but what they do is not unachievable.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13
They have the basics down pay. They forgive each other and this goes a long way. How many times a relationship do we hold on to something and let it fester. This only makes it a barb to tear flesh at the end of the day. No one wants to be on the receiving end of this and if you have a conscience it likely hurts you as well. Above I put one of my wife and I’s favorite verses, and it’s a favorite of many others. Paul describes what love is. I see many of these embodied in the relationship between Homer and Marge. When they hurt each other they are not acting in love, but when they work together and display love for each they are a well-oiled machine. They are in need of each other. They enjoy eachothers companionship. One really can not ask for much more in a marriage. Marriage is not easy, and unlike many shows, The Simpsons highlight that there are struggles which often occur. The world if full of temptation and the truly strong endure.
Homer and Marge go through countless trials. While they may do things which stress the marriage they are neither abusive nor spiteful to each other. They are not looking for the next opportunity to dump their spouse. They have shown countless examples of why they belong together. While I’m not saying that we should model our lives off of a TV show, but there are a lot of things which we can learn about love from The Simpsons. They show us how what appears imperfect can be perfect. Marriage is something so beautiful, but it takes work, commitment, and a bit of thick skin. Unlike the Van Houtens, we can not bring each other down. We can not back down from our commitments because of one’s short comings. If Kirk and Luann had half the toughness, love, and endurance The Simpsons had maybe they would have as many issues. Life is too short let small things hold us back especially with the ones we love. While they are not perfect, I challenge you at times to be like Homer and Marge.