Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Fallacy of Modern Marriage

Our culture is obsessed with individualistic love. I am obsessed 

with it. I blame it on disney. We get married as a symbol of our

love to one person. But that is NOT the purpose of marriage...

If a marriage is based on reflecting the covenant relationship God 

has with us, and living in the world to express Christ's ultimate 

future marriage to all humanity, then marrying someone because 

you love them in that "special" way (ie: you want to have sex with 

them, and are willing to buy them chocolates to do it) should really 

have nothing to do with it. Now granted you should probably 

"love" the person you marry, but I am not sure you should love 

them anymore then anyone else. If the purpose of marriage is to be 

 a unified expression of love in the world, then your love for each 

other in isolation will make the relationship impotent. Which is 

why I think so many marriages fail today. We have conditioned 

ourselves to believe in an individualistic based disney relationship 

where physically attractive people should fall in love in and live 

happily ever after alone in the woods. 

With the advent of hyper-individuality (an aspect of post-

modernity) we want to express how physical attraction is 

subjective, which causes us to focus even more deeply on how we 

can uniquely fall in love with that guy who can kind of looks like a 

wookie, but is hot in his own way. As a hyper-individualist myself I 

get that, but even biblically speaking we have affirmations that 

some people are more physically attractive then others, despite 

obvious grey areas. However, we have become so obsessed with 

individuality that we cannot even admit this anymore. Everyone 

has to be physically beautiful in their own way.  

People in Hollywood are beautiful But they can't stay married to

save their life. They are 

trapped in the tyranny of their own wills. This is becoming more 

and more of a cultural norm. Yet I know many people from 

different cultural backgrounds who are happy in semi-

arranged marriages (as in it was not forced, but a selection of 

people were recommended that fit within the family's value 

system) and I have often found them to be in happy and stable 

relationships. Why do I think this is the case? Because their 

relationship is not based on their own individuality, but is 

outwardly focused on the values of their community and culture. 

Now often times these marriages still have a little to much to do 

with wealth and status then I am comfortable with, but the reality 

still remains, when we focus outside ourselves and we 

discover our relationships should never be about individual 

happiness, but about how that relationship can bring goodness to 

the community. Within in this line of thinking the relationship 

itself naturally stabilizes and happiness is formed from the outside 

in, never from the inside out.

That said I am being somewhat hypocritical, because if I ever do 

get married, my wife will be physically attractive. But I am not 

going to delude myself into thinking that this is somehow God's 

plan. I do hope that he will show me grace in that we can in 

some unified way, outwardly express the love of God in a manner 

that will resonate with God's present and future telos. 

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