Love is a marathon.

Scott wrote this, and he is correct.

Love is a marathon, not a sprint. It means you will do things you don’t want to do. This year, Robyn and I got married. Since then we have had a son leave home, had to tell another son to not live with us, buried her father, dealt with illnesses in my family and hers.

This week my brother was helping his brothers in law build a coffin for his father in law…. as he was a builder, as are most of his sons.

At the beginning of the year, we did not expect any of these things.

It is not a matter of how you are a year in. It is a matter of how you are twenty years in. It is matter of being with her, or him, until death parts you.

As Christ taught, that is how is was supposed to be from the beginning. Divorce is allowed because we are fallen and our harshness breaks the heart of the other, female as often as male doing the breaking, or more so.

This entire perspective on mate selection is based on the idea that romantic love sanctifies and purifies marriage. Which is also related, in an indirect way, to why women initiate the vast majority of divorces today. Because they are seen as the divining rod, the enlightened “true love” detectors, and when the love goes away, the marriage is no longer valid. Which brings me to the next point.

Marriage provides the moral context for the pursuit of romantic love, not the other way around.

The hat tip here goes to protestant blogger Dalrock who clarified this for me like a lighting bolt as I read his posts on the topic. This culture takes the above principle and turns it on its head, with devastating consequences. If romantic love legitimizes marriage, then there is no standard for what makes it a successful marriage outside of the subjective feelings of the individuals involved. My wife and I are bonkers for each other–like a couple of teenagers–but we have worked through some really rough times to get there. Because divorce has not ever been an option, we were forced to recognize that this marriage is the place to “pursue” each other romantically, and have all the fun in the world doing it. The problem is that the idea of being struck by cupids arrow first and above all other considerations is so ingrained in our thinking that no one even notices anymore.

In the final analysis, the only way you can “know” if it was true love is when one of you dies. That may sound harsh, but when someone says “aw, it must be true love” I can’t help but comment “but you’re not done yet. You’ll know it was true love when you are lying there on your death bed, surrounded by your children and grandchildren and your husband/wife and close your eyes for the last time. At that point you will have perfected your love for each other. You finished the journey of actively loving each other all the way to the end.

The blog he was talking about has been rescued from the wayback machine and is here.