Romantic love is an essential ingredient of human development. The problem arises when romantic love is projected, promoted and propagandized as the living end, the goal, the pinnacle of life’s experience. Romantic love is not the living end; it is merely part of the learning process. A marriage relationship founded on romantic love must ripen into something deeper if it is to endure as a fulfilling experience. The romantic portrayal of the marriage ceremony as “happy ending” is an illusion. Every married person knows it is only the beginning. Every married person knows how forcefully the fact of marriage can bring one to the sudden realization of his or her “amateur standing” in the art of loving. The romantic lyric, “Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage,” overstates the case. Rather, the playwright’s observation that “Love is often a fruit of marriage” is more on target.

Because you are a unique masterwork of God, your expression of love for…

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