Fall in Love or Grow in Love
The most interesting and instructive conversations take place in the barber's chair. This time it was about love. I was relating my exhilarating experience attending an Arab wedding in Luxor, Egypt and we went on to discuss the Eastern practice of arranged marriage as opposed to the romantic love approach of westerners which is accepted as a universal norm.
As my friendly barber snipped away and shaved me into weekend decency I asserted that research shows that parents know best when it comes to selection of a life mate. It is simple really, the people who reared you, cared for you, groomed you, and put up with you for 20 years know the kind of spouse who will be best for you more than you do. Secondly parents have been around the wheel a bit, have played the game of life longer, and would have learned form their own failings. So, in my humble opinion, a marriage arranged by a wise and loving parent will stand a better chance of success than a marriage which is based on mutual attraction, chemistry, and sweet romance.
The romantic attraction can erode when reality sets in; but the wise selection of a mate by discerning parents will ensure that the couple can grow in love when others are falling out in the divorce court.
Hollywood and the American culture have socialised the world to believe that there is a magical guarantee to the sexual chemistry chase and possession in Dolby stereo. Wait, now it's full surround sound.
I believe that there is something bigger, dearer, deeper, when in the stillness of a desert night, a man makes love to his wife for the first time, as Isaac did Rebekah, because the elders of the tribe have made a selection that is blessed and honoured, and he knows that he must now perpetuate the lineage against all odds; there is no pre-nuptial, no escape clause, for man and wife are bound by more than the soft caress and the happy song, they are held together by a common belief that their relationship is wrapped up with everything noble in the ashes of their fathers and the temples of their God.
And when we do exercise the freedom to choose, a rule for a successful marriage is to ensure that you are both acceptable to each other's family. Oh, there are exceptions, but with the divorce court winning the war of probability, why fly in the face of the wisdom of the ages?