Is Marriage about Love?

The same-sex marriage controversy is a relatively complicated one, but pieces of it are easy to answer. Keep in mind that the broader question here is: What is the nature of marriage? Marriage is about love, so the argument goes. When people are in love, they get married. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what gender the person may be. If they are in love, they should be allowed to get married whether they’re same-sex or not. 

This argument is relatively easy to respond to. Marriage is not about love, ask any married person. People may get married for love. That’s the initiative people take in our culture. It’s the thing that prompts people to get married, understandably. However, anybody that’s been married for very long understands that the feelings of love change radically as time goes on. There becomes a different reason for the marriage.

If marriage was about love, then billions of people who thought they were married weren’t. The large majority of marriages in history have been arranged marriages rather than western-style marriages motivated by love. Lots of marriages don’t have love, so love is not an essential element for a marriage to exist. Love is great, but is that what it’s all about? 

Even westerners understand this because they stand up and make a vow to stay together even when there isn’t love. We know that love wanes. If love were strong enough to last through all the hard times, there would be no need for vows. When love wanes, we need the vow to hold the marriage together. 

When you fill out a marriage license, you’ll notice there are no questions regarding love. The government doesn’t care whether you love each other.

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Greg Koukl