Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Marriage Part 6

When the Bible speaks of love, it measures it primarily not by how much you want to receive but by how much you are willing to give of yourself to someone. How much are you willing to lose for the sake of this person? How much of your freedom are you willing to forsake? How much of your precious time, emotion, and resources are you willing to invest in this person? And for that, the marriage vow is not just helpful but it is even a test. In so many cases, when one person says to another, “I love you, but let’s not ruin it by getting married,” that person really means, “I don’t love you enough to close off all my options. I don’t love you enough to give myself to you that thoroughly.” To say, “I don’t need a piece of paper to love you” is basically to say, “My love for you has not reached the marriage level.” 

One of the most widely held beliefs in our culture today is that romantic love is all important in order to have a full life but that it almost never lasts. A second, related belief is that marriage should be based on romantic love. Taken together, these convictions lead to the conclusion that marriage and romance are essentially incompatible, that it is cruel to commit people to lifelong connection after the inevitable fading of romantic joy. The Biblical understanding of love does not preclude deep emotion. A marriage devoid of passion and emotional desire for one another doesn’t fulfill the Biblical vision. But neither does the Bible pit romantic love against the essence of love, which is sacrificial commitment to the good of the other. If we think of love primarily as emotional desire and not as active, committed service, we end up pitting duty and desire against each other in a way that is unrealistic and destructive.

The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller kindle version location 1089-1100

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