Someone said, “Love is a many-splendored thing”. This week is Marriage Week, 10-16 September 2017. 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?”
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 a third of our modern marriages ends 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. 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 true element as such. In the atomic world of true elements you can only join opposites.
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 for his ground-breaking book, ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ from the literary and academic establishments. Yet 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 research shows 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. If you want inspiration in your marriage read this week’s Special Feature. As Ivan says, “Put some effort into your marriage and have fun on the way”.
Yours for more fun on the way
PS. Our Dads4Kids YouTube is now over 80,000 views. On Wednesday, the Senate majority voted to reject FREE TVs Australia banning of the ad. There is definitely a stirring taking place against this invasive political correctness. Please consider going onto both theYouTube 60 Second version and second longer 1:50 version and posting a comment of support to counteract the lies that are being put out.
FREE TV withdrew their prior approval of this year’s two ads and then retrospectively banned Dads4Kids Community Service Announcements from 2016 and suggested we put a political disclaimer on the ads. This was not only patently ridiculous but was an effective kiss of death for any Community Service Announcements. What TV station would play so called ‘political’ ads for free? They are prohibited from doing this by law. FREE TV have been selectively deceptive in their public communication!
It is a very sad day when, as Senator Matt Canavan said, “Father’s Day is effectively banned”. Furthermore, how could a father a father singing a lullaby to his baby become a “political matter”? See the website for our full statement: www.dads4kids.org.au