Great piece! While reading, it brought to mind the following:
First, as of late I have been giving a lot of consideration with regard to arranged marriages, not on a personal basis, but more the long historical practice throughout a wide variety of cultures. Now, before I delve deeper into my thoughts, I do want to acknowledge that there are some historical and presently bad practices associated with arranged marriage, and do not wish to suggest that arranged marriage is a particular practice that the world should be taking up. There are, unfortunately, instances where horrible men are arranged to be married to much younger women, disgustingly even, young girls, neither of whom can be fully ready for marriage as it relates to the deeper essence of love that you speak on. But, to be fair, there are also many, many, instances in which the intention was to bring together two individuals that others believed would make for a happy and fulfilling couple. In these instances, what fascinates me most, particularly as it relates to the years of fruitful marriage that was/is developed, is the willingness on the bride and groom’s part to be married. There was no courtship typically associated with Western practices. In a number of instances, the couple barely even knew each other if at all prior to the wedding. And yet, they are willing to accept the other completely, in many instances, learn what it means to love another because of a choice made, only to find their fondness and deep abiding love of their spouse to grow deeper over time.
It is this choice that I would consider modern Western society to have forgotten, which led me to the second thought your piece brought to mind. Your analysis of knowledge as being a counter to love seems quite befitting of the modern Western mindset; the notion being that more knowledge brings greater happiness, pleasure, joy, fulfillment, etc., is rubbish without the right frame of mind. While you eluded to the idea, I would be willing to exclaim that by practicing love as an opportunity to build upon knowledge, we are in fact practicing fear. Love is not for the feint of heart and has no patience with cowards. I know it sounds rather cliche, but we either give love or we do not. Yet, giving or not giving love is, tragically, rarely even the case that is practiced wholly and unequivocally, and instead, is symbolic with agnosticism: a fence sitter unwilling to make a choice, uncertain whether to give fully or withhold what we have the ability to freely offer, in this moment, and this moment, and this moment…
This, in turn, brought to mind 1 Corinthians 13:4–8, and particularly verse 8 and its final phrase regarding knowledge that I had never fully considered in such a light until now.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. (NIV)