This is slightly out of my intended sequence, but it is prompted by something I found here which I think is extremely well-expressed: “What nearly all modern Christians have done is place romantic love above marriage. Instead of seeing marriage as the moral context to pursue romantic love and sex, romantic love is now seen as the moral place to experience sex and marriage. This inversion is subtle enough that no one seems to have noticed, but if you look for it you will see it everywhere. Lifetime marriage, with separate defined roles for husband and wife and true commitment is what makes sex and romantic love moral in the biblical view. In our new view, romantic love makes sex moral, and the purpose of marriage is to publicly declare that you are experiencing the highest form of romantic love.”
This is why we have become so snagged on the arguments around gay marriage. If we take it that pair-bonding romantically is the esse of a marriage, then there is no substantial reason to deny marriage to gay couples. It is simply a matter for individual choice. If, in contrast, marriage in its esse involves the raising of children, then the structuring of the marriage bond has to reflect that. That is the traditional Christian and biblical view (of which Dalrock is an exponent).
What the idolatry of romantic love has done is to distort all our values on this subject. Romantic infatuation is well known to be fleeting, and the neuroscience involved is becoming increasingly well understood. The effects of this value shift – structuring our understandings of marriage around romance – are all around us, in the form of divorce and shattered families and all the havoc that has followed.
This is not to say that romance doesn’t have its place, it is to say that we cannot structure a society on the basis of something so shallow. Life, and most especially the raising and forming of new life, is too important to be left to that.