I heard this today from someone from India and got thinking... In America, our marriages now are almost always never arranged... But how many of them are "love-marriages"?
With marriage option #1, she explained that you have two people who have possibly never met. They are married because it is socially pleasing and acceptable. The families arrange it, and in India it is usually arranged within a certain community of beliefs.
In marriage option #2 you have two people who say they care about each other so much that they want to spend the rest of their life together. They would do anything for each other. They can't imagine life without each other. They live together forever... Right?
In America we don't see #1 very often.
But I dare say we also don't see #2 very often, either.
Marriages don't last. In America, 41% of first marriages end in divorce. In India? 1.1% of first marriages end in divorce. The numbers I saw said that 90-95% of marriages in India are still arranged. And the marriages in India last longer...
Because I don't think the American people know what Love truly is. American love has become short lived, easy, shallow, surface-based, uncommitted, artificial, and self-serving. It's like fast food. You want what you want, when you want it, and when you're done with it, you throw it away.
What is Love?
Love is patient.
(I will not get huffy and puffy with you when you do something that I don't like. I will think before I speak.)
Love is kind.
(Even when I don't want to be. Even if you don't deserve it.)
Love is not jealous.
(I won't hold past things over your head. I won't become a green monster.)
Love does not brag.
(I will not boast about the things I have done, what you have not done, and I will not guilt you because of it.)
Love is not arrogant.
(I will be humble)
Love does not act unbecomingly.
(I will act like His Child... at all times.)
Love does not seek it's own.
(I will strive to serve you 101%, even if it means putting your needs and wants above my own)
Love is not provoked.
(even when you leave dirty dishes on the counter or say something hurtful)
Love does not take into account a wrong suffered.
(I won't hold grudges, I will FORGIVE)
Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness.
(I won't wish on you that you get what is coming to you)
Love rejoices with the truth.
(even if you are delivering it, and it hurts)
Love bears all things.
(every thing. dirty laundry. puking children. sick spouses. honey-do lists. sickness)
Love believes all things.
(I will believe what you have told me and what He has promised)
Love hopes all things.
(I will keep my ultimate Hope in Him)
Love endures all things.
(all things... every thing. There is nothing that this does not include)
If this is what we meant when we said we we had a "love-marriage"... I don't think our divorce rate would be as high as it is. If you are in a relationship, are you seeking a Love relationship? Are you willing to make that commitment? To Love no matter what the circumstances are? To make it work, even when it is hard?
If you say "I Love you" to anyone... You had better also mean all of the above to really mean it. Otherwise? It doesn't count. It won't last. It will get hard and you'll become another one of the 41% in America that drops out when it gets hard.
I dare you... Love the un-American way.