February 16, 2014

HIGHER LOVE:

Frozen Love (Bruce Frohnen, Imaginative Conservative)

There are many good things to say about Disney's massively popular movie, Frozen. One of its more refreshing plot twists concerns the heroine's saving the day through an act of sacrifice for true love--for her sister. Those who expect to read, now, praise for some feminist attempt to show how a strong female character can dispense with the need for any handsome prince are not all that far off. For Frozen (only very loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen) may be seen as rather subversive of contemporary values. In particular, it shows something too often overlooked or overtly rejected in contemporary culture, namely that there are kinds of love that are at least as important as romantic love.  [...]

[R]omantic love is not and cannot be the center of our emotional lives. More even than our horrible, corrupting laws on marriage and divorce, it is the deeply felt myth that romantic love is the basis of marriage that has brought us to our current state of familial chaos, in which those children lucky enough to be born generally find themselves, even if born into an intact family, grow up in significant measure outside of one.

Of course, if there is not a spark of romance between a man and a woman, marriage today is a non-starter. And it would seem foolish in our society for a couple to enter into marriage without knowing that they are attracted to one another and feel a deep physical and emotional connection with one another. Even the Puritans, supposedly so anti-romance, understood the need for couples to delight in one another; we are, after all, to become of one flesh.

But romance fades--though it comes back stronger and more often than the movies tend to allow. One who constantly seeks the "high" of romantic love (they often say they are "in love with being in love") is like any other addict, loyal only to his or her own needs. What is more, even if romantic love doesn't fade, it simply isn't enough to sustain a marriage. A man must love his wife as a woman (and vice versa), but also as a wife and as a friend. A couple is a couple, but also the basis of a family, needing more than romance in order to raise good children and face all the trials involved therein. And we must love one another as friends, who share triumphs and tribulations, partners in many things and supports in many others, if we are to build a life together. Finally, of course, we must share in the love of God if we are to fully bind ourselves to one another, love without condition as we must, and find our proper place in creation.
Posted by at February 16, 2014 8:52 AM
  
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