I remember my first kiss with my husband. Watching a movie in his dorm room, I turned towards his face, and he leaned in to kiss me. The hairs on my arm stood up, and my face lit up with heat. Looking back, I see all the telltale signs of young romance: nervous energy, heat, and the excitement of falling in love.

Now well into marriage, our movie nights and kisses are a bit different, and we’ve watched the passion that brought us together lose its allure in society’s eyes. Judging by much of what I read—including from Christians—romance inevitably gets sacrificed on the path to faithful, lasting partnership.

A string of articles on love question and then denounce the idea of a soul mate. One blogger said believing that God created just one match for you was “made up, dangerous, unrealistic.” Christians constantly share posts reminding us that marriage isn’t about our personal fulfillment, that passion can’t be our priority, that a relationship is hard work, that commitment to this covenant is most important.

Faced with divorce rates and changing social forces, the church rightly emphasizes the dedication and longevity of marriage over sexual chemistry and attraction. But sometimes, it makes marriage seem less like sparks flying and more like a wet blanket.

Matt Chandler, pastor and author of the new Christian relationship book Mingling of Souls, noted in one sermon, “People don't like love. They love kind of that flittery, flirty feeling. They don't love love. Love is sacrificial. Love is ferocious. It's not emotive.”

In The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller carefully focuses on the practical struggles and theological import of marriage. Speaking on sexuality ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.