Cultures all over the world have a myriad of reasons for marrying. Some marry to consolidate wealth. Some marry because tradition dictates that parents choose the spouse of their issue. Some marry to escape poverty, or their country of origin. Some marry to produce the next generation. In the west we tend to marry for love. Well either that or we settle for the next best thing. But is marrying for love any better than marrying for security, or friendship, or to protect the cultural norms of the society you come from? Have we in the West got it right? Or does the arranged marriage work just as well, or maybe even better? Is internet dating not just another version of an old fashioned matchmaker? Or have we moved beyond allowing others to decide our fate and therefore a higher divorce rate is worth it?
It is interesting that cultural norms are oft dictated by the religious persuasion of the community. Hindu's in the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan think nothing of marrying off children. It is an accepted cultural norm. No love involved.
What if you are a Christian and fall in love with a Muslim? Would love be enough. Or is there a conflict in faith that love could not overcome? And what about the barriers created by the wider family due to the disappointment in your choices?
Should marriage be dictated by love and love alone? Faith and faith alone? Culture and culture alone? Or is it actually a mix of all three? Maybe in the West our marriages might not be arranged, but in general they are constrained by our own community and societal norms.