Thursday, 22 August 2013

Falling in love or/and being married

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Secular culture does an accurate job of depicting what it is like to fall in love, that delightful and painful state - indeed it does this to the point of tedium and way beyond.

But secular culture uses falling in love as a weapon against being married - as if it was a case of falling in love versus being married.

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By contrast, secular culture does a very poor job of depicting what it is like to be married.

Secular culture fails and fails to depict the reality of marriage.

Indeed it does the opposite of failing, it successfully depicts marriage as the fading of the in-love state, as an impediment to falling in love; as at best cozy companionship and fun with kinds but at worst prolonged boredom and torment - in a word secualr culture depicts marriage purely as a material state.

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So, secularism depicts falling in love as a spiritual state, THE spiritual state (one and only, the only self-justifying thing) but being married as an ANTI-spiritual state.

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How strange (if it were not deliberately evil) that secular culture actually is (non-specifically, but assertively and un-boundedly) spiritual, when it comes to falling in love - yet so aggressively anti-spiritual about being married!

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Christians ought to do better - and real Christians generally do DO better in practice - but the spirituality of marriage remains private (as it should, as a rule).

But the proper privacy of specific real spiritual marriage is compatible with the necessity for public depictions of the spirituality of marriage - marriage as an 'artistic' thing (artistic in the sense of real - really real!- but not autobiographical).

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Why are they not more cultural depictions of the spirituality of marriage - of being married?

(I use the term spirituality to refer to the highest things, the most desired things, the things that produce the deepest and most lasting happiness).

The answer is obvious - because secular culture wants to destroy marriage.

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But why are there not more, a lot more, Christian depictions of the spirituality of marriage? We need them.

Why don't more Christian churches set themselves up to help their young people marry, and marry well? Surely it ought to be a major priority? Surely it ought to be discussed from the pulpit and at the highest level?

To hear pro-marriage discourse from a church leader is sometimes like attending a social policy lecture, or a political speech - where in all this is the spirituality of marriage?

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Where is the depiction of ideal marriage as a high and also profound path to God, offering glimpses of Heaven on earth, the family as a microcosm of the church and the human condition - a discussion of the potentially eternal consequences of marriage and family such that its delights do not fade but are forever, yet its sufferings are healed?

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Everybody knows - because public discourse is full of it - that falling in love really is delightful, life-enhancing, self-validating and the rest of it - despite that it is also a state of torment, jealousy, disgust, despair and the rest of it.

Hardly anybody knows - because it is not in public discourse - that being married and having a family really is all of this, but more so.

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