Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Love and Marriage in Australia



In an article entitled “For whom the bells toll”, Angela Blakston in The Age A2 section (Saturday 5 June) interviewed eight couples tying the knot. The couples are a widely diverse group, including one couple with an Elvis impersonator as celebrant. It makes for interesting reading.

She notes that Australian marriages have hit a 20-year high. There were 118,756 marriages registered in Australia in 2008, almost 2500 more than the previous year and the highest number in the past two decades.

She reflects on what love really means in our culture, using the words of 1 Corinthians chapter 13:

Whether you believe biology or a higher power has created us, few would disagree that we have an innate ability or need for love; to love and be loved.

This may all sound obvious but we live in a society where love has been romanticised, sexualised and sentimentalised to such an extent that it’s often hard to work out the real business of love, particularly when it comes to marriage.

“Love is patient, love is kind…” These days, a few years on in my own marriage – with two children, one who has had major health issues and who we almost lost, and a third (unplanned) baby newly arrived – I mostly feel humbled whenever I hear these words.

“Love always hopes, always perseveres…” Is this not the greatest challenge of any marriage? To turn up at the table, daily, to be able to love and be loved, despite your and your dearest faults and foibles.

It seems that the apostle Paul’s timeless description of true love still speaks powerfully into our culture today.

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