This post on Sacred Marriage: Romanticism’s Ruse was written by Jeffrey Chen, who is pursuing a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary. Jeffrey has a passion for sharing God’s love with those around him. He blogs at The Wayvy Life.
Welcome back to my book series on “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas! Today, we will generally be discussing Chapter 2 of the book called “Romanticism’s Ruse: How Marriage Points Us to True Fulfillment”. This chapter focuses on the potential deception of romanticism. Today’s culture plays a heavy emphasis on romanticism and falling in love. This kind of love is all about what you feel and following your heart. It is about the butterflies and lovey dovey emotions you get from a new relationship. In movies, it is always about two people perfectly falling in love. But, they don’t usually show what happens after the wedding or for the many years following.
Why? Because, in reality, the picturesque romantic love fades away. It does not last. It might for a year or even two, but usually not much longer than that. Does that mean marriages cannot last? No. Instead, Thomas points out that this means that marriage simply cannot be built upon romantic love. It must be built on something deeper – a more mature kind of love. Does this mean marriage will always be fun? No. As a matter of fact, it can be really hard. Thomas talks about how you cannot hide in marriage. It is a 24/7 commitment. As such, it forces you to face “character issues you’d never have to face otherwise”. Yikes. That’s scary.
However, although this can be frightening, it can surely be good for you as well. It is through this confrontation of your flaws through the context of marriage that you can become more like Jesus. By having to show your whole true self to another person, you will become much more aware of your shortcomings. But, once you are more self-aware, you are then able to work on your issues, and thus transform in becoming more like Jesus. Marriage can bring the best and the worst out of you, but more importantly it can provide you with the opportunity to change for the better.
Additionally, Thomas also makes the important note that your marriage and spouse cannot make you happy. This is often the false belief that romantic love is built on. The belief that another person is your missing piece. That if you have them in your life, you will be made complete and fulfilled. The truth is, as incredible as your spouse may be, they cannot meet all your needs. Only God can do that. However, your spouse and marriage can still be an amazing gift. While they can’t make you happy, they can certainly push you closer to God in ways that no other relationship could. As such, while marriage is not the ultimate prize in life, it provides us with the opportunity to glorify God and grow closer to Him, and that is quite special.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me for feedback, questions, suggestions on topics, or anything else. I’m happy to chat about anything and everything. I hope you could take away something helpful from this post. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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