What is marriage? What can it be, for good or bad?
For some of us, it is a dull and soul-crushing grind that sometimes devolves into cataclysmic destruction and cruelty. But for others, it is a necessary precondition for a happy life.
Almost all human beings feel that our lives are meant to be shared, or living would be devoid of truth, beauty, or meaning. Marriage often meets that need.
In a broad sense, we may feel married to our families, our friends, and our communities. We are intertwined with them, enmeshed and joined so that it is hard to separate oneself without creating a wound.
In a singular sense, many of us are married to that one shining person we discovered recently or long ago. We have chosen among the multitude of shapes, sizes and colors of God’s designs; we have decided with whom we will bond with for the rest of our lives. Choosing may not seem easy since it is a value judgment – do we value personality and character; or power and leadership; or monies and resources? It can be any of these, all of these, or possibly none of these and something else altogether, such as a laughing spirit and a mischievous twinkle in the eye.
If it works out well, we may experience a true, unadulterated fusion of souls, pure and clean, free of the limits of physical plans and needs. We may then experience the agape love for our beloved without regard for the circumstance, environment, or physical realities of the world.
When one has chosen and embarks on a journey with his or her beloved, the world makes sense. You are together and will always be together; in body, in mind, and in soul. That initiation and commitment and promise of oneness seals two into a greater one forever.
Enjoying a fulfilling and happy marriage is a blessing. Living together in the present has its joy of all joys; it also has its challenges. Most will agree there is no perfect marriage because there are differences, divergences, and conflict. While these vicissitudes can be difficult to endure, the deeper bonding and understanding in the aftermath make the struggle worthwhile. Not every day or encounter comes easy, but the rough patches can be smoothed out with a tranquil mindset.
A starter-list of spiritual tenets for the marital journey follows:
1. Place the essence of your attention and focus on her well-being.
2. Share a sense of humor since most of the outlooks and quibbles inherent in day to day living are laughable.
3. Walk the fine line of leadership with both confidence and humility, knowing that one day you will be a ghost.
4. Listen intently with both eyes focused and refrain from expressing the majority of your opinions since most things need little or no comment or judgement.
5. Be true to your own goodness and spread your generosity to all as a testament to her influence on you for the betterment of your spirit.
When you put that ring on her finger, you are giving the entirety of yourself to her, now and through eternity. Cherish the days as they pass one by one down the trail of time.
Patrick J. Wood
Author of “Dear Reader” and “Tapestry of Love and Loss”