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But God had much more in mind with romance than orgasms or even procreation, and so should we. When people in the world are expecting less and less of each other in dating, God isn’t — so among the single we have to work harder in our not-yet married relationships to preserve what marriage ought to picture and provide.

Nothing in my life and faith has been more confusing and spiritually hazardous than my pursuit of marriage. Maybe you’ve wanted the relationship or liked the guy or girl, and you’ve never had the chance.

I hated to see him," Tahani (in pink) recalls of the early days of her marriage to Majed, when she was 6 and he was 25. The young wife posed for this portrait with former classmate Ghada, also a child bride, outside their mountain home in Yemen. Tehani and Ghada are sisters-in-law photographed with their husbands, who are both members of the military.

The young wife posed for this portrait with former classmate Ghada, also a child bride, outside their mountain home in Hajjah. Like most of the girls, Tehani didn’t even know she was getting married, until the wedding night. Tehani describes how she entered the marriage, “They were decorating my hands, but I didn’t know they were going to marry me off.

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The girl tells the photographer that she is sad to be engaged because she had hoped to become a teacher.

Her favorite class was Dari, the local language, before she had to leave her studies to get married. w=300&h=224 300w, sizes="(max-width: 195px) 100vw, 195px" / Amanpour asked Sinclair if the 11-year-old Afghan girl married in 2005, and others like her, consummate their marriages at such an early age.

She is one of the 51 million child brides around the world today. Sinclair says while many Afghans told her the men would wait until puberty, women pulled her aside to tell her that indeed the men do have sex with the prepubescent brides.

Exclusivity and intentionality are ancient rituals, things of the past, and misplaced hopes. It’s not that this new line of thinking is necessarily untrue today, or that it’s not the current and corrupt trend of our culture. One of our most precious pursuits, that of a life-long partner for all of life, is tragically being relegated to tweets, texts, and Facebook pokes, to ambiguous flirtation and fooling around. Therefore, only he can prescribe the purpose, parameters, and means of our marriages.

If fullness of life could be found in sexual stimulation, or if it was just a matter of making babies, the “forget formality and just have sex” approach might temporarily satisfy cravings and cause enough conception.

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