A great poet once said, “Love is a many-splendored thing”. Whilst many of us would agree with Shakespeare, it seems that many would also agree with Eric Clapton when he sings, “Why does love got to be so sad?” Or maybe you feel more like the Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam when he sings in a song called Black “love gone bad turned my world to black”?
Several years ago my wife and I looked through the photos taken of our friends at our wedding. We discovered that half of those married were no longer together. This would seem to mirror the statistic that up to half of our modern marriages end in divorce. It is quite painful to watch one of your friend’s marriages self-destruct before your eyes. It is even more painful for their children to watch their mothers and fathers make a public spectacle of that same self-destruction.
Maybe the key to having a successful marriage is embracing the fact that marriage is actually a process of self-destruction. If you embrace the private process of self-destruction, you will avoid the public spectacle that takes place when a marriage implodes.
We must first embrace the fact that the whole universe is in tension.http://www.nationaldayofprayer.org.au/
It is the very interplay of the tension i.e. gravitational forces and electro-magnetic forces that keeps the universe in place. Even an atomic particle is usually made up of equal number of positively charged protons and negatively charged electrons which are held in place by the very tension they each create. The conundrum is that for a marriage to succeed it needs the tension created by both the male and female.
This is another reason why same sex marriage will never work. It’s like trying to make matter out of two protons or two electrons. They can get joined together but it’s not a scientific reality and there is no point in trying to pretend it is.
Sometime ago Dads4Kids interviewed Dr John Gray at the Smart Marriages Conference in USA for a marriage documentary. We learned that John Gray did not receive one positive review from the critics for his ground-breaking book, ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ from the literary and academic establishments. However Mr & Mrs Average instinctively knew it to be the truth and made it one of the bestselling self-help book series by a single author of all time with over 50 million sales.
Part of the key to the renewal of marriage in Australia is to accept that men and women, whilst equal, are also wonderfully different. When we understand the magnificent differences between the male and female instead of trying to deny the differences we can begin to understand the wonderful mystery of the two becoming one. The ‘one flesh’ phenomenon of marriage, as proven by science and the mystical interchange of hormones, make a male and female more one flesh than they bargained for.
Interestingly new research is showing the benefits to the commitment side of marriage and why marriage is indeed ‘a many-splendored thing’. Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University stumbled upon some interesting research:
“In 2002, Jane Ebert and I discovered that people are generally happier with decisions when they can’t undo them. When subjects in our experiments were able to undo their decisions they tended to consider both the positive and negative features of the decisions they had made, but when they couldn’t undo their decisions they tended to concentrate on the good features and ignore the bad.
As such, they were more satisfied when they made irrevocable than revocable decisions. Ironically, subjects did not realize this would happen and strongly preferred to have the opportunity to change their minds.
Now up until this point I had always believed that love causes marriage. But these experiments suggested to me that marriage could also cause love. If you take data seriously you act on it, so when these results came in I went home and proposed to the woman I was living with. She said yes, and it turned out that the data was right: I love my wife more than I loved my girlfriend”.
Marry your girlfriend and love your wife because marriage creates love. If you want inspiration in your marriage read Visit from the Marriage Auditor. As Ivan says, “Put some effort into your marriage and have fun on the way”.
Yours for more fun on the way
PS. Monday 31 October is the last day of 31 days of prayer & fasting for marriage and families across Australia. We thank all those who joined in over the last month. Great things happen when people pray!