Odysseus & Penelope: Enduring Love

“Love suffereth long….beareth all things, believeth all things,
hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth.”
1 Corinthians 3:4, 7-8 (ASV)

And then he spoke of a girl of surpassing beauty and faithfulness.
I can only assume he meant you.”
– The Princess Bride

By Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

By Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

One of my favorite stories of all time is one of the oldest stories of all time. It also happens to be one of the best love stories.

They call it the Odyssey – the story of the Greek hero Odysseus, written about 3,000 years ago by a man named Homer; but tales of the Greek hero had been passed around by word of mouth for many, many years before that.

Odysseus was a king, a soldier, a genius, and easily the most beloved character in all of Greek history. But he is remembered first and foremost as a father and husband because the Odyssey is his struggle to return to the home and family he was forced to leave behind.

Long story short: Odysseus is called to fight in a war that lasts 10 years, and then takes another 10 years on top of that to get home, making it 20 years round-trip. All that time, his beloved wife Penelope waits for her husband’s return – a return which never seems to come for those 2 very long decades.

Teaser: there’s a happy ending to this story, which is one reason why it is so beloved. But let me tell you a bit about Odysseus and Penelope’s story, and why I love them so much. Continue reading