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.
6 thoughts on “Marriage”
Thanks Lindsey, there is a lot our there on dating, and relationships, but not so much on marriage, especially from younger folks. This is really important. Marriage is such a blessing, protection, and support to the individual and society.
There are a few movies out there which have some good points on marriage as well. Marley and Me, ( although about a dogs influence on a relationship.) has a great scene in it, where Owen Wilson his having this conversation with his single buddy, who is kind of flaunting the “fun exploits” of single life, and Owen replies something to the effect, ” but I have this great wife who loves me, these amazing kids… My life is awesome!” the other movie which has a great message about marriage is “He’s Just Not That Into You”. In it towards the end Ben Affleck realizes it isn’t about what will make him happy, but how much it will mean to his girlfriend (Jennifer Anniston) to be married.
Both wonderful messages, ironically both movies with JA.
I an so happily married it is unbelievable. Never a disagreement, or squabble, just 100 0/0 joy and support. Oh the power of love!
Thanks for sharing! I love the movie references you mentioned. It would be great if there were more movies on happily wedded couples. Sometimes it’s helpful to get a visual for what that looks like! I find it fascinating that movies with younger couples end after they get married – as if that’s the end of the fun & excitement! So fun to hear about your marriage – a great model for us all! 🙂
Love this, Lindsey! The part about marriage being a mirror is so true….I remember when that hit me a few months into our marriage, and how humbling it was. I could no longer be grumpy or rude or whatever without it directly affecting someone else (my husband, lol). It has been a great way to learn how to be more aware of my thought and actions and also to be patient with each other when these slips do happen. There really is no greater gift – within marriage or with any relationship – than to see each other as “the loved and cared for child of God”, as you said. Thanks for posting!! Lots of love to you both.
Thanks Jasmine! So true about having to watch our thoughts & actions – certainly keeps you on your toes, doesn’t it?! 🙂
It’s beautiful how our comprehension of what marriage is & what it means evolves & expands with each passing month & year.
Always new views! Lots of love ❤
Just another thought: I recall one day as I walked down our hallway ( and this was YEARS ago) I thought, ” I know I love my wife but why? I wasn’t agruing the fact just questioning what that meant? It occurred to me that I loved her, because God loved her and if I was mindful o that, she would feel such a sense of love that would better enable her to understand divine Love. Now that’s at the heart of marriage!