Yes love is critical for marriage. When you marry, you invite your close society to the ceremony. Then you profess to love honor and cherish that one person for the rest of your life. When I did this 28 years ago, this profession was to my bride, her parents and brother, my parents and sister, all of our families, friends, and community, to my God, and most of all . . . to myself. I wouldn’t have made my profession of loving someone for the rest of my life if I didn’t love her.
I am completely dismayed at the number of people who take marriage lightly. There are the nay-sayers who cite the statistic that in the US 50% of marriages end in divorce. What they miss is that 80% of the people get married once and stay married their entire lives. That means that 20% of the people do 50% of the marrying . . . and 100% of the divorcing.