Counsel of Chalcedon
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The Foundations of the Family

The foundation of family and marriage in contemporary thinking is romantic love. The motivation which brings two people together to unite in marriage is very commonly romantic love and too often little else.

Romantic love as the motive of marriage is not a new force in history. It has a long history behind it. In Roman history, even more plain, sexual love was held to be, by the third century of the Christian era the best reason for marriage. In terms of this idea of marriage, it was expected that the man rival the gods as a great lover, while the woman was expected to out-Venus Venus. Technique in marriage was held to be everything, and anyone not interested in sexual sophistication was despised as an amateur. Instead of increasing marital happiness, this Roman emphasis on sexual love only intensified marital disharmony and increased the breakdown of marriage and the family.