Love and the “Piece of Paper”

“But when the Bible speaks of love, it measures it primarily not by how much you want to receive but by how much you are willing to give of yourself to someone. How much are you willing to lose for the sake of this person? How much of your freedom are you willing to forsake? How much of your precious time, emotion, and resources are you willing to invest in this person? And for that, the marriage vow is not just helpful but it is even a test. In so many cases, when one person says to another, ‘I love you, but let’s not ruin it by getting married,’ that person really means, ‘I don’t love you enough to close off all my options. I don’t love you enough to give myself to you that throughly.’ To say, ‘I don’t need a piece of paper to love you’ is basically to say, ‘My love for you has not reached the marriage level.’ ”

– Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage, p.78

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