It is a good idea, immediately after the chapter about the "Wedding at Cana" (John 2, 1-12) to deal directly with the contemporary problems in the field of love. (You can find a more detailed extra page on the homepage/ "Questions, Answers...".)
Christ addresses people’s hearts and the chance they have of becoming whole, of becoming complete, which is the prerequisite for real freedom. He does not support the further falling apart of that in man which is already crumbling; no ecstatic experiencing of everything, but rather a new integration in the "wisdom of the heart".
Christ represents the responsibility of people for each other. However, he does not believe in "inherent necessities", of external forms or of overrating them, or even the abuse of the terms responsibility, faith and honesty for the veiling of envy, jealousy and "taking possession of s.o." For him it is all a question of the spirit which people act in. In marriage too, not everything is automatically alright, which is considered as unfavo(u)rable outside.
To love God and your neighbour as yourself also means to love yourself. This rule of Christ, superseding the prohibitive logic of the Old Testament, is a universal attitude that goes through all these three areas and combines them all (see Mark 12:33; John 13:34; Gal. 5:14; James 2:8). In this context charity is then something more than just instinctive care for relatives and so forth; however, although it does not exclude them - in a free way. Due to this role of man as a loving helper, wherever appropriate, self-love is not of an egoistic kind, but goodness of the heart, actually directed towards loving oneself as an instrument for serving others and/or God, including the body.
The highest love is unconditional love. Cf. even loving "enemies" Matthew 5:43-48 - which does not exclude wisdom
For contemporary Europeans etc. something of a transformation of sexuality can be experienced, especially then when two people meet first intellectually and psychologically during mutual enterprises, but then learn to deal with emanations of antipathy and sympathy. These things, not mainly, but among others, should be taken into consideration when seeking contacts which also make sense for the outside world. The unity on the physical level comes later and is not automatically a part of every friendship or meeting. And getting to know someone must not mean leaving the existing partner. But a loving mood goes with it. The power of the heart can noticeably pull the sexual energy upwards, and one does not always have to work it off explosively, as so often happens today through cultural conditioning.
Sexual love -"Eros" - is a special case of universal love -"Agape". So this is not necessarily a contradiction. The new Encyclica "Deus caritas est" of Pope Benedict XVI accepts this too.
Many spiritual traditions teach a transformation of sexuality instead of suppression or continuous living it up, - which is more than Freud's "sublimation". There were also similar approaches in the Christian world which are missing today and need to be elaborated on again; the heritage of the minnesingers and troubadours portrayed this type of knowledge.
Since sexuality can cause subconscious involvement between people, most religions see it as a balancing act linked to a partnership in which both are able to handle the consequences. Those who want to avoid sexual activities before marriage , can do so successfully, if both people are clear about what they want and don’t want and support each other accordingly.
Jesus accepted this old approach, right up to the negative characterization of a covetous look for instance, at someone elses partner. But this does not necessarily exclude an enthusiastic meeting between two people who just met from happening more frequently than one may think. This is not always understood, even by the two people concerned: "When two or three meet in my name (i.e. "in connection with my spirit"), I am among them" (or, translated correctly too: "in them"). This does not require an official ecclesiastical gathering, no special preparation, but can come about everywhere where the "spirit of Christ" connects two people for any reason. To take this up, even if they are man and woman and if they like each other too (sympathy), to maintain in this case the clear consciousness that is the origin may be difficult, but it is necessary for the world. It need not be a question of partnership or of sex, but those concerned have to find out honestly what this is about if they want to master this situation. Sometimes the one moment "was it" already, if one was open for it.
The life of Jesus on earth already showed how amazingly unconventional he was. It may turn out that conventions are only necessary as long as "he is not among them".
A prerequisite for appropriate meetings between people, which one can improve oneself naturally, is a study of our own individuality including the "aura" and/or "charisma". Even as a couple, people still remain individuals and an absolute dissolution of the two people in the couple is not that which Christ wanted.
*) Mankind is a complex network, which may become clearer in the next chapters .
Reference to a complete version for print, and Copyright Ways of Christ™