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Apr 26, 2016

The Spirituality of Marriage

I saw a Facebook picture of my parents together at the Coshocton Community Choir anniversary celebration that got me thinking of all of the dinners and lunches and concerts and birthday parties and holidays and every days that that they have shared through their 47 years of marriage.

That's right.  47 years.  

47 years together as husband and wife.  47 years as friends and confidants.

Their marriage is an extraordinary thing.  An entity unto itself that they chose to create and have worked to make fit them as individuals and as a whole.  They have sculpted it and grown into it, given to and taken from it, depended on and shared it.  It has given them strength and joy, taught them to be others-centered, and brought them endless amounts of love and laughter.

The intimacy of spending your every day with another person, allowing yourself to be completely vulnerable with them, sharing with them your insecurities and humiliations as well as your accomplishments and successes, inspiring them to be their best self and striving for that in yourself, giving them your strength and support even when there seems nothing left to give and accepting theirs when your own can't hold you together any longer, looking past their facade to love them as they truly are...

Honestly, is there anything more freeing than pure intimacy like that?

I believe that marriage is as divine a relationship as exists here on earth - the raw honest reality of who we are fully exposed and hanging out there in the wind and the other person choosing us and loving us despite it all.  It's a strange and exquisite thing that author Thomas Moore nails:

"Marriage is a spiritual act because it requires constant transcending of selfishness, a conscious decision to live a good life, and a generous spilling over of those lessons in raising children and dealing with family and neighbors.  A real marriage has its own inherent spirituality."

My parents have embodied those elements through the good, the bad and the ugly of their 47 years of every days together.  And the joy and strength they have put into and gotten from their marriage spills over onto those of us who know and love them.

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad.