It’s no secret that we live in a sex-obsessed culture. This is obvious and is often blamed as the source of many relationship problems. Temptation to lust is everywhere. Yet we live in a romance-obsessed culture as well.
You need more than one person.
Romance is often thought of as sweet and endearing, and desiring it doesn’t seem that insidious, so what harm can it do? Many times, expectations are set too high. Pouring too much relational energy into a romantic relationship can neglect investment in other relationships as well—close friendships and more authentic connections with family. A lot of pressure is put on one person. He or she can't be your all-in-all. This is setting the other person up as an idol, and an idol will always disappoint.
Falling in love isn't all bad either.
Romance is still an essential part of bonding. Those first several months in a relationship are thrilling. This initial stage is important because that is where bonding begins. However, the feelings will fade and more mature dynamics must emerge for the relationship to deepen and continue.
Feelings don't keep a marriage together.
Marriage is centered on commitment. The idea of romantic feelings being the deciding factor for marriage is a truly modern and very American formula. Centuries before, marriage was important for economic survival and social integration. There was also the biblical reason for marriage: uniting spiritually. These historic factors are fading away in society, so culture has nothing much left to do with marriage other than celebrate romance and the excitement of hosting a lavish ceremony.
It's still possible to keep romance alive in marriage.
So many call it quits after the high simmers to a low. Hence the unfortunate divorce rate in our country. But when the rush dies down, romance does not have to completely extinguish, it just takes more effort. It takes sacrifice and thinking of the other person first. It means doing things even if you don't feel like it. At times, it takes the Spirit of God to empower godly spouses to love one another.
For a marriage to last, the relationship has to mature through commitment and a deepening friendship—this is where true love blossoms.
If you are looking for more on marriage, I suggest the book: The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller. Also, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter.