People say that marriage takes a lot of “work”. That sounds a bit daunting. I’m discovering that marriage is a “witnessing of each other’s spiritual identity.” The “work” is because relationships hold up a mirror and show us where we need to grow.
Marriage is witnessing that your spouse is the loved and cared for child of God. When we look to man as the source of fulfillment, or perhaps to keep us from feeling lonely, or to satisfy all our hopes & dreams, we are disappointed. There will come a time when that person is not around or too busy or simply incapable of fulfilling your hopes and dreams. In these moments we have the glorious, healing opportunity to turn to God, divine Love, and realize we have never been alone; we have always been tenderly cared for by our Father/Mother God who is satisfying our hopes and dreams right now because She made them in our heart.
Each month there is a something special read at my church. For me it is such a blessing and a guiding light in my relationships. I pray with this passage each morning as prepare for my day. It’s called “A Rule for Motives & Acts” and it goes like this:
Neither animosity nor mere personal attachment should impel the motives or acts of the members of The Mother Church. In Science, divine Love alone governs man; and a Christian Scientist reflects the sweet amenities of Love, in rebuking sin, in true brotherliness, charitableness, and forgiveness. The members of this Church should daily watch and pray to be delivered from all evil, from prophesying, judging, condemning, counseling, influencing or being influenced erroneously.
As I meditate on this each morning it gives me stillness and humility to take through my day. It helps me see that my will isn’t the “right” will; my unsolicited advice doesn’t encourage someone else’s new discovery; my judgement doesn’t heal others; looking down at someone doesn’t enable them to rise up; and influencing someone doesn’t help them turn to God – the source of all true guidance for that individual.
I humbly pray and strive to express this “rule for motives and acts” more in my daily life. And it alerts me to see that marriage can be “attacked” by these harmful characteristics; if entertained, they can uproot the seeds of joy, hope, patience, and unselfishness that have been planted in marriage.
Here are some closing quotes that have helped keep me spiritually grounded in marriage:
Soul [God] has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul [God].
Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it.
Mutual compromises will often maintain a compact which might otherwise become unbearable.
Kindred tastes, motives, and aspirations are necessary to the formation of a happy and permanent companionship.
Higher enjoyments alone can satisfy the cravings of immortal man.
All the quotes shared in this post are by Mary Baker Eddy; they can be found in her main written work Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.