So there’s this cool new twenty-first century pastime called “recreational dating” and its been all the rage for quite some time now with celebrities, teens, and pretty much everybody else who’s with somebody but “til’ death do us part” isn’t exactly on the agenda. And in most cases, it stays off the agenda even after cohabitation and children are involved.
Breakups and make-ups are all part of what makes it worth writing songs about.
Keep it casual or emotionally intense according to whatever floats your boat.
Keep it short and sweet or drag it out until you’re sort of kind of married but sort of kind of not.
Whether you throw the “I Love You’s” around at the drop of a hat or just keep moving onto the next one every time it starts to get a little old…
It all just makes me wonder; if we take an honest look at ourselves, do we as Christians use it as a means to an end (the end being a lasting and committed Godly marriage), do we have our own holy and sanctified modus operandi when it comes to inter-mingling with the opposite sex in hope of finding “the one”, and most importantly, are there any real consequences to just throwing caution to the wind when it comes to love, by just following your heart and doing whatever makes you happiest?
I’m asking these questions because I know a lot of us sometimes find ourselves in “exclusive” relationships for an indefinite amount of time and it’s a lot like being married to that person, but also a lot like walking into a shop, un-wrapping all the food, taking a bite out of everything and walking out without paying because you decided at some point during all the handling and tasting that you don’t like what’s offered enough to buy the whole lot and keep it forever.
So you try a bigger and better store, a cheaper store, a fancy boutique, or you just pick something up on the side of the road that looked convenient as you passed by.
A lot of these relationships are exclusive in the sense that you choose one person to do all manner and shape of things with, but you also need to keep in mind that it doesn’t have the level of structure and commitment that a marriage covenant provides, and as a result, they tend to be arbitrary and fleeting.
After two people have become attached romantically, emotionally, and even sexually, all it takes is for one person to get bored, to cheat or simply decide that someone else is more desirable, and the relationship is ended.
If like myself, you’ve ever been a part of a breakup before, you’ll agree that they range from mutually consented adult decisions to pursue greener pastures, and at their worst they can be heart-wrenching, gut-spilling, traumatic experiences that scar you for life, depending on the circumstances and the degree of loss and separation anxiety experienced.
After a string of failed relationships, a lot of young men and women struggle with bitterness and develop trust issues that never existed when at first, love hoped all things and believed all things. Maybe they’ve even picked up bad habits along the way or have a distorted view of love and relationships that they carry into the next relationship.
Over time, it trivializes intimacy, it makes it okay to set hopes up only to dash them because your feelings have changed or the situation is different, or it just got boring.
In modern society, the person that one ultimately marries is simply the last person in a string of commitments that you’ve successfully broken off and moved on from. A string of hearts that you’ve attached onto your own, only to rip it off and give it away again until you meet your future wife or husband and they get to keep whatever remains.
I know it sounds like I’m ranting a little, and maybe I am… maybe this is something that’s a little close to home… Maybe I might even be a little too fired up about this.
But with all that I’ve said, can we honestly be surprised by the rising divorce rate in modern society, when we’ve grown so accustomed to breaking hearts and breaking rules, but hope to suddenly do the opposite once we say “I do”?
I think we’re doing it all wrong if marriages and families and communities get harder to maintain, the further modern society progresses.