Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Parents

That I may come near to her,
draw me nearer to thee than to her;
that I may know her,
make me to know thee more than her;
that I may love her with the perfect love of a perfectly whole heart,
cause me to love thee more than her and most of all. Amen. Amen

That nothing may be between me and her,
be thou between us, every moment.
That we may be constantly together,
draw us into separate loneliness with thyself.
And when we meet, breast to breast, my God,
let it e on thine own. Amen. Amen.

Temple Gardiner, (1873-1928) before his marriage.
Quoted in The Oxford Book of Prayer.

From what I have seen my parents have a lovely marriage. They delight in each other’s company. The kiss and tease like young lovers. They share private jokes and a public devotion. Before I married I asked my mother the secret to their marital success.
She answered that every marriage is its own garden. There is no single almanac that will work for every couple in every instance. Each couple must find the ways of life together that work for them.
You look so happy after all these years. How do you do it?
“A good marriage is like one of those gardens in a stately home: When you visit the lawns are manicured, the flowers bloom luxuriantly, the paths are clear and the beds are immaculate. It is as though someone has come with a magic wand and made it so. What you don’t see is all the hard work that creates the vision. The weeding and seeding, the mulching and digging, the plants that must be uprooted, the things that must hacked down and wheeled away. Marriage is hard work. Lots of prayer and hard work.”Perhaps that, then, is the ultimate secret of marital success: that we hide our hearts in God. If we can not each hide our hearts in God then maybe in marriage we had best find our way to each other through God.

1 comment:

  1. My husband, Marcus and I, celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary on Saturday 18th July 2009, and we feel truly blessed that we love each other even more than on our wedding day in 1981. The beauty is that we now love each other "warts and all"! We have loved each other through "better and worse, through sickness and in health, in richer and in poorer..." and there have been many of these times. We believe in respecting each others differences and honouring each other. Lean on each other's strengths and don't focus on the weaknesses.