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Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Value of Originality In Marriage


It’s what you signed up for: to be the single-most valuable person in your partner’s life, and to share a bond unique to all humankind. Marriage was designed to be a creation of only its own likeness—original to the specifications engineered by both partners, and God.


The Problem of Comparison


Not many will perhaps argue with the specificity to be accorded marriage, but most of us have found ways to determine what marriage is and what it isn’t.


Our families of origin, those families of our friends, marriages we were inspired by, and marriages we deplored, all influence—by significance and number, very greatly—our perceptions of what is mandatory, preferable, and even permissible, within our marriages.


There are, therefore, subtle yet powerful voices from the past speaking into a present and future which either welcomes such voices or is sickened by them.


The problem of comparison is that an image for marriage that works well in certain situations doesn’t work for all in all situations—not even close. The comparative perception tends to screen out important snippets of information that preclude those images from working, because the voice of envy we listen to speaks more to an unmet need that can’t be satisfied in marriage.


We expect too much from our partners if we look to them to meet all our needs.


Determining an Original Plan


There is a vast freedom that exists in marriage so far as two people becoming one is concerned.


That freedom extends past those voices of envy—the limited perceptions of the relationships we compare with—into the measureless unknown of our uncreated or now-to-be-created futures together. Only as two people, both individuals of equal importance, knowing what is important to them, individually, can a marriage take on the unique significance God has destined for it.


Determining an original plan—one that’s changeable; pliable to change as each partner changes; and, malleable to the circumstances as they change—is a basic task of every married couple. And if they should accept such a task, freeing the other to determine, by themselves, what is important, both shall be blessed.


***


Each marriage, like a fingerprint or a sequence of DNA, has the right and privilege of being unique. It is distinctive in a class of commonality; known as unknown; recognised to only two people—and God. Freedom exists in the unique identification within each and every marriage under God.


© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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