The modern theory of marriage is that two people who are in love should join as a union. Nothing else matters and is subjected to this quality. Interesting enough, the reason to get married is less about love and more financial or legal advantages. There are tax incentives and social contractual obligations for both the couple and State. According to the law, the two become essentially one with some caveats. It also seeks to publically legitimize the relationship, opening up an acceptance of the bonding. These social, financial, and political fortunes have always been the glue that holds the concept of marriage together. Love is actually the least important issue, and history has until relatively recently recognized that fact.
Pointing out that historically there have been many reasons for marriage beyond love is not to say it wasn’t a factor until the modern era. Instead, it is a recognition that marriage is a social construct for contractual and not emotional connections. Kings and Queens married to continue ruling an Empire. The rich conspired to marry off sons and daughters to create fortunes. Religious people married as an obligation to God for the perpetuation of the next generation. Love and attraction was necessary, but secondary or less. Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising at a time when “love” trumps all, that less than half the marriageable population actually ties the knot. Who needs commitment when one can (as easy divorces indicate) fall in and out of love? The rich apparently, as a NYT article (see side link) explains according to a study. Its just become expensive for especially the poor.
For Mormonism, marriage is more old fashioned than the “new” old fashion. It reaches farther back than gender roles, white picket fences, and 3 or more kids. Like the traditional religious purpose, the main factor of marriage is an obligation to God for raising up the next righteous generation. Romantic love is not discouraged, but its not required. Above all, this marriage between a man and woman to form a family is far more than a suggestion; it is a commandment of God. For this reason, anyone who is capable must get married as a religious practice. More than this, it is necessary for full Exaltation in the Eternities. Those who claim to be attracted to the opposite sex can be as equally obligated to form a proper family unit as a heterosexual, so long as they are honest about their weakness. Continue reading