Ready for the really bizarre?
Here’s a strange quote from a Christian leader on marriage:
“Let me get right to the point - the making of marriage has nothing to do with love."
"Love does not make two people married. According to the law of His Word, God,
who marries couples, does not marry them based on love.”
From “Marriage: What’s Love Got To Do With It?”
By Edward Ridenour*
Huh? Wait a minute, please…
Has there been anything more off-the-wall wrong than this? Claiming that “making a marriage has nothing to do with love”?*
Sometimes a reflection, meditation, article deeply moves one, invites one into the presence of God, and leads to a transformative change in my life,
such is NOT the case with Ridenour’s article.
Now keep in mind that Ridenour may be partially playing “gotcha,” using a hook attention-grabber, because later he does qualify his bizarre, untrue words: “Love that labors and is sacrificial is true marital love in its best form, and is "agape" (Godlike).
When a man and a woman come together and make a marriage, their underlying principle for making that marriage should not be for their own self-satisfaction, but to serve one another and God in that union, exemplify His love, and build His Kingdom. This is true love.”
Definitely yes and no.
It is true that much of what passes for “love” in modern society has little to do with love in the transcendent/compassionate/ultimate ethical sense.
But it is also true that much of what passes for “love” and “marriage” in Scripture, Christian history, and modern religious groups has little to do with love either.
It’s enough to make any spiritual individual puke and wretch—just as Jesus is said to do with the false religious ways of so many humans (Revelation 3: 1-22)
For years now—at least 21 of them—I’ve been seeking clarification and insight on the meaning of the word and act called “marriage.”
But even after attending and participating in many weddings, after reading a tome of books, endless essays and biblical studies,
and spending a lot of time in prayer and reflection, I still am confused/uncertain/grieved--
seeking further clarification from the Light of God before I speak my mind with strong conviction.
So, if all that is true, why am I sticking out my neck now to have it chopped off repeatedly by all the opposing guillotines of modern dystopia,
by all the theological fire-breathers of various opposing camps from Indiana Yearly Meeting to the U.S. Supreme Court?
Let’s say, Ridenour made me do it;-)
Not that he’s the devil, but the latter is definitely in the details.
Well, maybe not; maybe in the end the truth of all this is only found in the ideal truths and essences, inherent in the ultimate love of God.
Now there’s an idea—that our finite minds aren’t the ultimate judge of truth, but God who is Love is.
As it says in Ephesians 4: “...walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love...
14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ...” ESV
SO...before we can tackle the vital issue of marriage, what it means and what it doesn’t mean—
and set all the modern ethical jousters correct;-)—
we must first look at the definition of this wily character/characteristic/attribute/behavior/emotion/value/ethic/act called "love"
#1 Define the terms (what philosophers always emphasize so as to avoid semantic chaos like what is happening in modern secular society and religion).
Old English lufu "love, affection, friendliness," from Proto-Germanic *lubo (cf. Old High German liubi "joy," German Liebe "love;" Old Norse, Old Frisian, Dutch lof; German Lob "praise;" Old Saxon liof, Old Frisian liaf, Dutch lief, Old High German liob, German lieb, Gothic liufs "dear, beloved").
The Germanic words are from PIE *leubh- "to care, desire, love" (cf. Latin lubet, later libet "pleases;" Sanskrit lubhyati "desires;" Old Church Slavonic l'ubu "dear, beloved;" Lithuanian liaupse "song of praise").
Meaning "a beloved person" is from early 13c. The sense "no score" (in tennis, etc.) is 1742, from the notion of "playing for love," i.e. "for nothing" (1670s). Phrase for love or money "for anything" is attested from 1580s. Love seat is from 1904. Love-letter is attested from mid-13c.; love-song from early 14c.
To fall in love is attested from early 15c. To be in love with (someone) is from c.1500. To make love is from 1570s in the sense "pay amorous attention to;" as a euphemism for "have sex," it is attested from c.1950.
Love life "one's collective amorous activities" is from 1919, originally a term in psychological jargon. Love affair is from 1590s. The phrase no love lost (between two people) is ambiguous and was used 17c. in reference to two who love each other well (c.1640) as well as two who have no love for each other (1620s).
Old English lufian "to love, cherish, show love to; delight in, approve," from Proto-Germanic *lubojan (cf. Old High German lubon, German lieben), from root of love (n.). Related: Loved; loving. Adjective Love-hate "ambivalent" is from 1937, originally a term in psychological jargon.
Online Etymology Dictionary
To Be Continued--
In the Light,
*Part 1 was published as “The Twisting…” April 2, 2013
* Well, maybe the twisting of God’s character and essence by modern Christian leaders who claim God is self-centered, that everything he does is for his own glory! How sick and totally wrong, as any reading of the NT will show. Try 1 John first.