Today I want to share a selection having to do with marriage -- though I must stress it's a helpful thought to consider whether one is married or not! I do not know the title or publisher of the book I originally took it from years ago, though I did write down the author's name - Theodore Parker.
I have used this quote numerous times at weddings and people have expressed their appreciation for it, and most all their complete agreement with it -- especially those who have been married for any length of time! It is, in my humble opinion, worthy of your focused, thoughtful, and discerning consideration, since it contains much truth and wisdom. Enjoy.
“It takes years to marry two hearts completely, even of the most loving and tender type. Every happy marriage is a long falling in love. Young people think love belongs only to the silken-haired and crimson-cheeked. And it does in its beginnings.
But the golden marriage is a part of love about which the Bridal day knows nothing. A mature and complete marriage, where wedlock is everything one could desire, where the ideal becomes actual, is not a common thing. It is perhaps as rare as perfect personal beauty.
Men and women are married fractionally — a small fraction here, followed by a larger fraction there. Very few are ever married totally, and those that are, only achieve it after some forty or fifty years of gradual growth, adjustment, perseverance and experimentation.
When a man and woman are successfully in love, their whole activity is energized and victorious. They walk better, their metabolism improves, they think more clearly, their secret worries drop away, the world is fresh and interesting, and they can do more than they ever dreamed of doing.
In love of this kind, sexual intimacy in not the dead end of desire, as it is in purely romantic or promiscuous love. It is the periodic affirmation of inward delight in each other, and the crown of an active, intentional and well-lived life. Knit together by the bonds of friendship and mutual affection, their love is as interesting as it is enduring — able to withstand the winds of adversity and change, bear hardships, build upon the mistakes of the past, and use them as opportunities for forgiveness and growth.”
In a society which sees less and less reason for marriage (4 out of 10 thirty-and-under-people now see no need for it at all), this "thought" gives us a better insight into the blessings of marriage, how one should view it, and what it might take to improve it.
The health of the family unit is key to the preservation of any civil society, and the health of marriages is key to the health of that family unit. We must, therefore -- especially in a society like ours which is decidedly not "marriage-friendly" -- always be praying for those who have entered into this, "bond and covenant of marriage (which) was established by God in creation." This relationship of committed love received Jesus' stamp of approval by, "His presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee." After all, it's a way of life which, "signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and His Church, and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people" (from The Celebration of Marriage, Book of Common Prayer).
May you be encouraged to persevere in this God-ordained relationship, and partake of the blessings God intended through it, Pastor Jeff