When it comes to marriage we may have a view,
Of others and their marriages and how they don’t hold true,
But instead there’s an idea that refreshes our sight,
There are a million happy forms of marriage alright!
There are many marriages around,
Which make all kinds of sound,
And though we think there’s abuse,
The truth is, in these, there’s finally a truce.
Then there are marriages of hardly a word,
Relationships were no utterance is ever stirred,
But we shouldn’t assume they have it together,
Instead they could be at the end of their tether.
The colours of marriage fill the screen,
Of every hope, and plan, and childhood dream,
There are only two who can judge how they fare,
Hardly another soul should ever but dare.
It’s a tricky business getting involved in judging things, especially marriages from afar. As married couples, singles, or divorced persons we have all had opportunities to judge or be judged. We have all experienced the placement of the slide under the social microscope. And although our fallen nature is given to the sin of judging another, we go on in that venture or we are a victim of it—or usually both.
When we consider, however, that there are a million forms of happy marriage (to use a round number as indicative of the many varieties of relational happiness) we have the opportunity to broaden our perspective. Judgment is seen as narrow-minded. With such a skewed perspective we hardly make a reliable witness.
Instead of venturing into the narrow-mindedness of analysing somebody else’s relationship, we are blessed all the more to analyse our own relationships.
This is the turning point in our thinking that converts us back to repentance.
Perhaps if we see unhappiness in others’ marriages, we are merely entering into transference from our own issues. What are we hiding from? This highlights the classic truth that Jesus raised in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:1-6). We might see fault in the other, but that is a speck compared with the plank in our own eye.
If we were to focus, instead, on the things that are working in other people’s marriages we might more readily recognise, in appreciation, the things that are working in our marriages.
We cannot hope to know the happiness enfolded over another couple in their marriage. But we can endeavour to look for the positives in order to learn what we might apply to improve our own.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.