“Love and marriage,” a traditional biblical phrase, has been utilized repeatedly by so-called experts to explain why Christians should enter into marriage. The thought that “love and marriage always go together,” despite growing doubts about its universal truth, is still prevalent, although the arguments against it continue to grow stronger. Likewise, addressing these many arguments takes identifying what entails deep marital love. Yet, the prevailing ideal that deep love is necessary in marriage has been recently relatively new.
In the United States, the term “marital love” gained prominence in the mid-twentieth century. This development came about with the adoption of a more secular attitude toward marriage in American culture. As the family was separated, so too was the concept of “love.” No longer was the married couple suppose to “fall in love” or “feel the love.” Although there were certainly occasions where this ideal manifested itself in a marriage, the more common expression was “uneven affection” or “unfaithfulness.”
Over time “unfaithfulness” became a less important component of the act of matrimony as people became more familiar with each other. They would meet, socialize, and engage in regular activities and so “fall in love.” Unfaithfulness after that was considered unimportant. Then came two major changes in the attitude of young people. First, many couples marry young. And second, many young people live together and so marry.
Historically speaking, arranged marriages are extremely rare. Marriages are usually formed based on mutual understanding of individual wants and needs. And since people marry for reasons other than love and desire, arranged marriages are even rarer. When young people marry for “all right reasons” they are more likely to have arranged marriages. But when young people marry for “all wrong reasons” they are more likely to be troubled by arranged marriages and to end them.
To be sure, love and marriage do require some effort on the part of both partners. They require mutual trust, support, and caring. This is especially true if you are young and just starting out. It is even more so if you are in a long-term relationship where trust, support, and caring are more significant than romantic encounters.
A great way to foster love and marriage is to make sure you are always thinking about and feeling deeply about your partner. When you wake up in the morning, think about them, and if possible, write them down. Then, take another twenty minutes and feel your emotions. After the first hour, you will probably feel incredibly passionate about what you are doing.