The world is in trouble. Everyone points out flaws, issues, and problems. Where did these situations come from and what can we do? There is a deeper problem under all the others. Let us take a journey to see What is Wrong with the World.
Problem discussed: The myth of “free” love
It is stated that one of the most used searches every year is the search strand ‘what is love?’. If that is true we live in a confused society. We are told that we need love and this love comes in the form of a girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse/ and so on. Even at young ages kids talk about their significant other (or even their ex). The issue is that we don’t know that love can never be free and in fact is the most costly thing there is: it either will bind us (a good thing) or we are only mere selfish taking actions to satisfy our own desires.
Only by the hypocritical ignoring of a huge fact can any one contrive to talk of “free love”; as if love were an episode like lighting a cigarette, or whistling a tune. Suppose whenever a man lit a cigarette, a towering genie arose from the rings of smoke and followed him everywhere as a huge slave. Suppose whenever a man whistled a tune he “drew an angel down” and had to walk about forever with a seraph on a string. These catastrophic images are but faint parallels to the earthquake consequences that Nature has attached to sex; and it is perfectly plain at the beginning that a man cannot be a free lover; he is either a traitor or a tied man. The second element that creates the family is that its consequences, though colossal, are gradual; the cigarette produces a baby giant, the song only an infant seraph. Thence arises the necessity for some prolonged system of co-operation; and thence arises the family in its full educational sense.
So, there are two reasons in the above selection that state why love is not free: (1) It cannot be or it is not love and (2) we need the bonds of family/marriage to raise children. The modern issue is that we have elevated the pleasure of love without also addressing the hardships of it. Everything worth doing has hard parts. You cannot enjoy the cuddles of a child but then ignore them when they puke everywhere with the flu. You cannot enjoy the smiles and coos of a baby without dealing with the sleepless nights. You cannot learn to walk without the trials of falling multiple times.
The problem is not in marriage, but in sex; and would be felt under the freest concubinage. Nevertheless, the overwhelming mass of mankind has not believed in freedom in this matter, but rather in a more or less lasting tie. Tribes and civilizations differ about the occasions on which we may loosen the bond, but they all agree that there is a bond to be loosened, not a mere universal detachment. For the purposes of this book I am not concerned to discuss that mystical view of marriage in which I myself believe: the great European tradition which has made marriage a sacrament. It is enough to say here that heathen and Christian alike have regarded marriage as a tie; a thing not normally to be sundered. Briefly, this human belief in a sexual bond rests on a principle of which the modern mind has made a very inadequate study. It is, perhaps, most nearly paralleled by the principle of the second wind in walking. The principle is this: that in everything worth having, even in every pleasure, there is a point of pain or tedium that must be survived, so that the pleasure may revive and endure. The joy of battle comes after the first fear of death; the joy of reading Virgil comes after the bore of learning him; the glow of the sea-bather comes after the icy shock of the sea bath; and the success of the marriage comes after the failure of the honeymoon. All human vows, laws, and contracts are so many ways of surviving with success this breaking point, this instant of potential surrender.
That is a universal truth that is far to often forgotten: “everything worth having, even in every pleasure, there is a point of pain or tedium that must be survived, so that the pleasure may revive and endure”. It is this fight that makes things last, not the mere emotion of feeling whatever people think love is today.
If we all floated in the air like bubbles, free to drift anywhere at any instant, the practical result would be that no one would have the courage to begin a conversation. It would be so embarrassing to start a sentence in a friendly whisper, and then have to shout the last half of it because the other party was floating away into the free and formless ether The two must hold each other to do justice to each other. If Americans can be divorced for “incompatibility of temper” I cannot conceive why they are not all divorced. I have known many happy marriages, but never a compatible one. The whole aim of marriage is to fight through and survive the instant when incompatibility becomes unquestionable. For a man and a woman, as such, are incompatible.
That crazy Beatles song that states ‘all you need is love’ is obviously wrong and based on a false worldview. This view that you can be a lover and not a fighter is contradictory – you must always fight for the ones you love!
Chesterton also wrote” In every romance there must be the twin elements of loving and fighting. In every romance there must be must be three characters: there must be the Princess, who is a thing to be loved; there must be the Dragon, who is a thing to be fought; and there must St. George, who is a thing that both loves and fights. […] The true romantic knows that loving the world is the same thing as fighting the world.”
Today, as people fall for the lie of free love we find that even their idol is not being worshipped: How Secularism made the Sexual Revolution Boring. As Christians we must go back to the ancient and noble art of saying no (to say yes to a greater thing): Breathless Waiting: from Abstaining to Chastity.
Above all love and romance needs truth. If love is free there is no truth, but if love is the most costly thing (as seen in the actions of our Savior) then it is a sacrifice of the deepest sort and full of truth.