Thursday, 15 April 2010
...Finds Heaven On Earth!
To me marriage is one of the most sacred commitments two people will make in their lifetimes. The promises that we make on our wedding day to each other before God, our family and friends contain some of the most important words and intentions we will ever utter.
But the wedding day itself is just the start. It can take months, even years to arrange a wedding, but planning for marriage often gets overlooked amid the activity of planning the wedding. The catering, the venue, the guest-list, the DJ, the favours, the cake, the dress, the suit, the pageboys, the bridesmaids, the cars.....the list goes on and on. The planning stage is phenomenally involved and time consuming.
But I wonder how many betrothed couples take time to discuss their marriage? How many take time to talk about their future plans, their shared principles, their shared standards and, perhaps most importantly, how many have a discussion about those areas where they don't share a joint view? Those are the areas where inevitable compromises will have to be made to ensure a harmonious household.
Why bother doing that? Well to me, it's because harmony in a marriage is crucial, and it's far better to have the discussions before the wedding rather than after the wedding. Just so that both of you know how the land lies. Whilst nobody can predict what's going to happen in a marriage, we must surely agree that a chat beforehand will allow the couple some valuable insight into how the land may lie during their marriage.
Marriage is an unknown entity. Circumstances change, people change and sometimes personality traits are revealed that neither party could have foreseen. But maybe, just maybe if the discussion had taken place then they would have been prepared.
An Apache blessing describes marriage in this way, "...Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth for the other. Now there is no more loneliness, for each of you will be companion for the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. Go now to your dwelling place to begin the days of your life together. May your days together be good and long upon the earth..."
I see marriage as a lifelong journey that two people agree to take together, side by side, hand in hand, both moving forward in the same direction. The trials and tribulations of life may rock them or just gently sway them from time to time, but their overall intention is to maintain harmony in their sacred marriage. That is their overriding objective and they achieve this through constant and daily loving gestures towards each other. These small acts of love give physical expression to their profound love for each other. Theirs was a marriage of souls and hearts before it was ever a marriage on earth. Their sacred vows were sealed in their hearts before they were ever uttered out loud. Their capacity to love each other extends far beyond their regular beautiful kindnesses. The depth of their souls' original unity will evolve and it will be revealed to each of them as they journey together through the lifetime of their marriage. The revelation will take place over the days, weeks, months and years of their marriage and throughout their devotion to each other will grow. Gradually the true shape of their divine connection takes shape and will be reshaped by the many intricacies that life will throw their way.
They will experience everything in life separately via unique life experiences, and jointly they will use this to ensure that the essence of their connection remains intact, fresh and instantly recognisable. Tolerance, patience, kindness and compassion flow freely in their marriage.
They compliment each other beautifully in every way, like chocolates and flowers, like the flower and the honey bee, and like raindrops on roses. Together they are the physical manifestation of grace, friendship, nurturing, protection and loveliness. They are warmed and nurtured by the potency of their combined energy, and a fixed feature in the landscape of their marriage is the constant flow of love.
I'm going to end this with a repeat of that beautiful Apache blessing, because I think you'll agree it bears repeating, "...Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth for the other. Now there is no more loneliness, for each of you will be companion for the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. Go now to your dwelling place to begin the days of your life together. May your days together be good and long upon the earth..."