Marriage is the oldest domestic community ever formed among the humans. In fact, the very first reason why two persons ever came together was to be husband and wife. This primordial instinct which is like a chemical reaction drawing man and woman together is what some came to call love. The induced reaction rather appeared to be more lust-induced reaction rather than love.
It was by the power of differentiation that he referred Eve, among all other animals, as the flesh and bone resembling his. Adam was more interested in identifying the flesh of Eve rather than the spiritual reality which love actually is and with which God even identifies himself. (1 Jn 4:8). So, Adam first admired Eve but soon enough, he began to love her.
Against this background, I wish to express the clarification that more often than not, man’s admiration of a woman’s beauty is hastily misconstrued as love. Hence, marriage becomes the next option. When any man identifies only the flesh of his own Eve, without a reasonable consideration of the spiritual reality (love), and move on to marriage, it is like a child building a castle with the sand at the sea shore. Few days to the wedding, the beauty of your Eve is celebrated on Facebook pages; few years after the wedding, her cases are filed on the tribunal desk for annulment. “I am fed up;” because the beauty identification has faded and the flesh has been explored by you. At that point, one discovers the absence of the spiritual reality (love) which exercises the function of unity and indissolubility; for better for worse. At that time, occasion is afforded for the breaking up of homes; the seed of dissension is sown among families, the dignity of manhood is lessened and brought low; and women run the risk of being deserted after having satisfied the pleasure of men. Thus, the unstated assumption becomes clear, that sex is the primordial instinct for such marriages. But we forget that in marriage, people should rise in love unlike what obtains on the streets of daily life where people fall in love.
The motive force of marriage ought to be love. It is only within love environment that faith in God, fidelity to each other and forgiveness of each other make gainful sense in marital cohabitation. We do not intend to deny or downplay the proper place of sex in marriage. Besides, God made sex such a powerful instrument of pleasure in a marital bliss because it possesses the physical powers of generation, but lacks the ingredients of marital sustainability which love alone can offer. Although love demands sex between couples in order to oil the medicine of cohabitation and render unnecessary any suggestion of separation, yet it is not indispensible for such purpose in as much as sex seeks the part and love seeks the totality. (cf. https://www.tecsthought.com/2018/01/06/love-seeks-the-totality-vol-3-no-1/#more-391).
Nevertheless, sex creates an enabling environment for love to ensure its function. This is because, when considered that the most active sexual organ is not between the legs but in the brain, one will be able to appreciate the danger of marital love that is not serviced by sexual desire and union of husband and wife.
I therefore submit that love is the handmaid of marriage, while sex is the handmaid of marital love. Let us not substitute one for the other. Above all, happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry.