Paul said that it's better to marry than to burn. While there are some people who, at this juncture, would request a can of gasoline and a match, I think most of us would agree with him.
Of course, what Paul meant was that it's better to be married than to "burn" with both the physical and emotional burdens of unwanted celibacy. His whole point was that our lives should be arranged so as to improve the efficiency of our approach to the Almighty. Generally, a celibate has fewer distractions and can worship more directly; but Paul realized that not everyone is called to that sort of life.
He gave us a choice.
Assuming that you don't live in a culture where you were aimed from birth at an arranged marriage, it's still a choice. But like most choices, it's driven by a lot of internal and external pressures that are miles away from logic and considered motivation
But the question is - is a carefully considered choice the best way to approach marriage, or should we be closer to the model of a trip down a wild river - white water boiling on all sides, the path ahead obscured by standing waves and spray, and the only safe decision being the decision taken quickly and without a look back.
There are some who'd consider the logical approach the way to go. Charles Lindbergh, for instance, looked at Anne Morrow's potential for being a mother. Including, as far as we know, how the width of her hips would allow her to carry and deliver children, Reading his own words, it's a bit like he was considering a brood mare.
But is the opposite better? Is the almost Mediterranean surrender to emotion, the celebration of giddy butterfly-gusts of love and despair, anything like the right way to choose a life-mate? Is it appropriate for anything beyond choosing a weird-sounding sandwich at a Greek gyro street vendor?
Let's call on the archetype of logic, Mr. Spock. Pausing between careful sips of hot plomeek soup, he carefully considers our question.
"Logic would dictate that you follow the example of the Creator in whose image you have been, after all, created. He clearly loves you with a degree of passion and intensity that cannot be explained, nor predicted by logic alone. He has enjoined you to love your spouse using His love for you as a model. The logical conclusion, therefore, embraces the inconsistency of selecting emotional intensity and its resulting illogic in selecting a spouse."
There we are. We have to follow God's plan for us to its logical conclusion, and that is to love with our hearts first, and to never, ever turn away from someone we love in God's model, because of practical considerations (which include, let's say this right away, family disapproval).
Does this make you feel better, or worse?
Oh, one more thing. We are to follow God's love for us, in selecting a lifetime love.
But we also have to follow through with that love, for better for for worse.
UNTIL DEATH DOTH US PART.
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