Thursday, February 2, 2012

Just a piece of paper?

Sometimes you are struck by 2 opposing opinions – one that summarises the culture that you live in and one that shows you its faults.

As you know I have been reading The Meaning of Marriage. At the same time, Husband and I have been re-watching the ABC show SeaChange.
What struck me was a scene between Harold and Meredith talking about marriage:
“We still have what we’ve got Hal, we don’t need a silly bit of paper.”
She goes on to say:
“There are advantages to this arrangement you know Hal. I’ve got my independence and you’ve got yours. Whatever’s between us is freely given, there are no obligations, no conditions, we’re absolutely free to be ourselves.”

Contrast it with this quote from Keller on exactly the same idea that “we don’t need a piece of paper” (ie a marriage certificate).
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.”. (p78)

I'll side with Keller on this one.

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