An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Idolatry: romantic love

What is love? Love has become confused with a feeling. The idea of romance and romantic love is a distortion of the biblical idea of love. Love is a laying down of a life, love is obedience, love is commitment. The notion of romantic love seen in many films and in this advert - beautifully constructed and directed by Jean Pierre Jeunet - has become an idol. We measure love by romance, by how we feel.
Gary Thomas has written a great book with a brilliant sub-title: Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to make Us Happy? This exposes the idol of romantic marriage. Marriage isn’t all about being happy - it’s a about laying our lives down for our partners. It doesn’t mean that romance isn’t good. All idolatries take something good and distort it; the partial truth becomes the whole truth. But love can’t survive on romance alone. Marriages need more than just romance. Romance is not a basis for a secure and long-lasting marriage.

The Romantic turn, associated with Wordsworth, Blake and Coleridge, and later Shelley and Keats, was responsible for this elevation of romance. They thought it was a crime - against oneself!- to marry for something other than an emotional love.

As C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape says "They regard the intention of loyalty to a partnership for mutual help, for the preservation of chastity, and for the transmission of life as something lower than a storm of emotion" (p. 72).
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profwatson said...

Yes, the book "we" by Robert A. Johnson says the same thing.

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romantic love