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"How is it different?" he resumed.

As earnest as Adam was about continuing their talk, it surprised Charlie that he was willing to speak about this subject matter in front of Kevin, and even Chad, who were both sitting up front.

"What about them?" she whispered in a voice so hushed that Adam could barely hear her. "Is it all right for them to hear this?"

"I don't see why not," replied Adam, not attempting to lower his speech in the slightest. "I want to know, Charlie. How is our affection for each other different, now that we're married?"

Charlie sighed. She had obviously hit a nerve with Adam.

"It's easy for people to be so romantic when they first fall in love," she explained, "but it's not the way it stays for the rest of their married life."

"I won't stop loving you," he insisted, "no matter how long we're married."

"You still don't understand," sighed Charlie. "I'm not saying that you'll stop loving me-- only, that the way you demonstrate it in the future, will be different than the way it was during our honeymoon."

Adam shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Charlie was making more sense than he had thought she was, but he still wasn't sure if he was in total agreement with her, or not.

"So," he reasoned, "in spite of the fact that I'll still love you, you're saying that I won't want to hold or kiss you in the future?"

"Not as much as you do now," replied Charlie.

"Does this having something to do with my age?" he suddenly wondered.

"No, I'm not talking about age," said Charlie. "This is the way married life is: the longer we're married, the less you'll desire me."

"Whoa!" exclaimed Adam, "just stop right there! I desire you-- not because I lust you, but because I love you. There's a big difference, Charlie. Where love is plentiful, desire and lust will never be too far behind."

The young woman was thoughtfully silent.

"Do you understand what I'm saying?" asked Adam.

"I think so," she replied slowly.

Adam reached across the seat and took her hand in his.

"In Christ, love between a husband and wife isn't based on something as weak as lust," he tenderly explained. "It's why you could be an old woman, and still be beautiful to me. When a relationship is based on God's word, love only grows stronger with time."

There was no reproach or condescension in Adam's voice, and Charlie was thankful that he was being so patient with her, as to explain something that he had felt was obvious. But it hadn't been obvious to Charlie; the only romantic relationship she had ever witnessed firsthand, was between her father and his girlfriend, Morgan.
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