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What should be the Christian view of romance?"

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The Bible covers two types of love: agape and phileo. Agape love is represented by God's love for us. It is a non-partial, sacrificial love best demonstrated by the gift in John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." This kind of love is unconditional. The "Love Chapter" in 1 Corinthians deals more explicitly with this. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a). This passage is often quoted at weddings and other celebrations of love.

 
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It is true 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 does refer to agape love, the same type of love that you would show your enemy in order to win them over to Christ. I have often heard the expression, agape love is the "putting up with another" type of love. Thus I cannot think of anything more appropriate than to mention this kind of love at a wedding. Because it will be very much needed when the new car smell starts to fade. In fact, the type of love used in a marriage differs according to the circumstances. The Greek language has four different words that refer to different aspects of love and all of them are appropriate in a marriage.

Agape love is defiantly needed when there is friction in the marriage, which from time to time in normal.

Philia love is also vital, this is the close friendship love, and your spouse should be your best friend.

Eros love, this is the sexual love that is also an important part of maintaining an intimate relationship.

Storge love, this is a family type love, it is best summed up by the saying "blood is thicker than water." This to has a vital part to play in the marriage.

A healthy marriage should have all four of these types of love.
 
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Romance appears to have no part in the modern pathway to marriage as I observe the ways of men today.

A man does not seem to have to win his bride with a period of Romance as used to be the case.

Making a date with a lady, trying to secure an evening out, with her? Dinner, a Movie, a Ride Out for a Picnic. A walk etc. The gentle getting to know you approach.

Precious moments. Halcyon days.....Bygone?

I would need to hear from younger folks on this matter.
 
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In all honesty, I think the only person who can truly love is Jesus. Everyone else will fall miserably short sooner or later. The only love that will last is the love that God works into our hearts for others, but it may take many years for this to be developed. I even wonder if we will not be able to bear the fullness of it until we have been completely changed into His image.

I see marriage on this earth as an object lesson concerning the true marriage that God desires for the Lamb and His wife. I think that marriage in this life is built up by the media and by many in the church as the ultimate experience. If the Lord loves you and wants you for Himself, He may not allow you to have the "ultimate experience" in this world because He Himself wants to be that in your life. That does not mean He won't let you marry, but He may ensure that He is always first in your life by giving you a wife/husband who does not meet your needs to some or any degree. I know this is probably a very unusual idea, but unfortunately to look at marriage in this world as any more than a duty, is to set ourselves up for disappointment. If we end up with a happy marriage, that is great. If we end up with a miserable marriage in spite of everything we may have done to make sure we would have a happy one, then it is apparently God's will make our marriage our cross, in order that we will make Him our all in all.

In many cultures, the wife is thankful for her husband because without him she could not have children. He is little more to her than the father of her children and the provider, while she is the household servant. This is perhaps a very rudimentary view of marriage and certainly not the western ideal or the Bible model.

Romance is all well and good, but the truth is that marriage and family life is very hard work. Providing for a family and taking care of all the daily household tasks for any number of children, is a tremendous committment, taking all the time and energy of both parents. When there are financial or health issues, it is even more difficult. Marriage in this world tests and tries us. It is a picture of the ideal, although in this world it can never be ideal (unless someone is exceptionally blessed with a great many advantages).

In this world, love is much more of a committment than a feeling. Maybe if marriage were presented in a different way, more as something done out of obedience to God than as a way to happiness, there would be less divorces.

To balance all of this, I will say that God's love is the most amazing thing in the world (I have had a brief experience of it) and will be well worth it. Another treasure in Heaven...

After all my blabbing...maybe what I am trying to say is that our "romance" should be with Jesus, although we are commanded to love one another in our various relationships.
 
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Romance is still alive... but barely breathing

Romance appears to have no part in the modern pathway to marriage as I observe the ways of men today.

A man does not seem to have to win his bride with a period of Romance as used to be the case.

Making a date with a lady, trying to secure an evening out, with her? Dinner, a Movie, a Ride Out for a Picnic. A walk etc. The gentle getting to know you approach.

Precious moments. Halcyon days.....Bygone?

I would need to hear from younger folks on this matter.
I'm a younger person! So I will see if i can shed some light on this subject.

I'm 19 years old and I consider myself to be quite the helpless romantic. I think this kind of mindset is common these days, but I was brought up differently than most my peers. My sister and I were never allowed to watch modern day movies so we were brought up on classic films and literature, and thus, I have a very traditional view of relationships, romance, and marriage.

This view kept me quite distant from boys all through school. They all knew how I felt about relationships and if they were brazen enough to approach me I made sure they knew from the beginning what I expected of them as gentlemen. And because of this I've only been in one relationship. But my boyfriend was quite the gentleman. He treated me with the utmost respect and dignity with all the stereotypical romantic gestures: flowers hidden in my locker at school, love letters and little romantic notes, nights under the stars and strolls through the park. Exactly what I had always dreamed it would be.

Now, in our over-sexualized world the concept of romance has been disgustingly skewed and most our friends and peers regarded us a being "prude" and slow moving because intimacy wasn't a part of our relationship. (it was about 9 months before we started even dating/courting; it took us a few weeks before we would even hold each others' hand; and our first kiss wasn't until 3 months into the relationship). But we both agreed on our views toward relationships and marriage, and refused to let the world pressure us. But i must say, our kind of relationship seems to be a rare occurrence. Only a few other friends hold this same view.

With today's notion of "casual dating", sex, unfaithfulness, and abuse are rampant, and I find that it is becoming increasingly harder to find examples of true romance around. Even in my christian world, I have friends that are living the consequences of sex before marriage, infidelity, and emotional abuse.

All I can say is I hope that us young people in the Christian community can come out and set good examples of true love and Godly relationships for those around us; demonstrating exactly what it is to truly love someone, and providing Godly principles of romance for the world around us.
 
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Audrey, You have certainly done the right thing. It is hard to go against the current trends, but so often it is the herd that is doing the wrong thing, stampeding towards destruction for the sake of being accepted or cool. Later they regret it. You are very fortunate to have found a young man who shares your convictions.

I also like to read old novels, generally the British classics, written over a century ago. They are such wonderful love stories, so beautifully and gracefully written. The modern novels are so often filled with garbage; I can't read them. I started reading one a few days ago. It started out funny, then got vulgar after a few pages. I stopped reading it and threw it in the paper recycling bin. I couldn't give it away to pollute someone else's mind.
 
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