Read 1 Peter 4:8
8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. (NLT)
It is very likely that many marriages fail because we have an unrealistically exalted view of marriage itself. If marriages failed because people didn’t somehow believe in marriage, then it is hard to explain why so many go on to another marriage.
We pour much energy and expense and imagination into the wedding day and neglect to cultivate the marriage which follows that event. We assume the other person will meet our needs, will never change, will always understand us. We carry many hopes into marriage and not all will be fulfilled. Some of those hopes may have to die if the marriage is to live.
None of this is meant to pour cold water on the many and varied delights of marriage. But we will always enter into marriage as imperfect people who make our vows to another imperfect person. We cannot hope for perfection but rather hope for a mutual, gracious working on those imperfections in the context of accepting love. Or as our text suggests, we hope that our love can somehow help us to deal with our multiple sins.
We dare not drain marriage of its dreams and aspirations and reduce it to mere dogged drudgery. But nor do we so idealise it that we lose sight of the realities of one another and have it crushed beneath our unreal expectations.
Alain de Botton, a secular philosopher, writes that a certain amount of sober melancholy is also necessary if we are to head forth into the land of love.