Monday, April 13, 2015

The Complexity of Romance Part I

There are times when biblical texts make more sense and come more alive than when read at other times. For me these days, 1 Corinthians 7, Paul's wisdom and encouragement regarding marriage and Christian service, resound with sharpened clarity. "The married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided." To be sure, Paul is not making an ethical pronouncement; he has "no command' from the Lord regarding this matter. He's only talking practical daily wisdom, the limitations of time and energy during this distressing age.

I'm convinced we're living in times where the modern man's anxieties with regard to women are more complex and difficult than ever. Romance is a constant negotiation of will and power. The insatiable search to be adequately entertained distracts us from sitting down and resolving past resentments, present frustrations, and future plans. The fibres that bind together to create a strong rope are fraying, not from the ends, but from the middle. The orientations of leadership, of money, of nurture and support are no longer moving as one unified strand as they once did. They're moving in every direction, a tangled mess that threatens to rupture the cord.

It's hard to blame a single perpetrator in this lamentable enterprise. But if I were to put my finger on it, the problem lies in the double edged sword of chivalry's death, and feminism's rise.