A Beautiful Marriage
1. Movement Toward Beauty
Do you have a good marriage? If you do, you are blessed. I have a good marriage most of the time, and I am blessed. Some of the time I have A Beautiful Marriage, and that is great, but it doesn’t last so long. Most of the time my marriage is “somewhat” Beautiful. But it is not what I would call “A Beautiful Marriage” I would rate it at about 7 out of 10, so quite a lot of space to grow. But I am still working on it, and hope that one day it will be A Beautiful Marriage most of the time. This really takes teamwork and dedication. Maybe one day that will happen, but good is good and I will take that for now. But I have been working on it for 20 years, and it is better now than it was. If a person is going to keep working on their marriage, it must be a priority, but it is worth the effort. It is often enjoyable to put in the time to make progress towards the worthy goal of A Beautiful Marriage. God wants marriage to reflect the beauty of his faithful and graceful love. So, of course he would like the marriages of those who belong to him to reflect His beauty more and more as we learn to be more like him.
A Beautiful Marriage is a goal and hope of at least most who get married, though few attain it for long periods of time before the interruptions come. Interruptions that come and take away some of the beauty from our marriages. Interruptions, such as, hurt feelings for example, that may be the result of many things. It may be that the hurt feelings are the result of a disagreement about what is the best thing to do in a situation. In marriage these kinds of situations come up often. There are often situations in marriage where a compromise seems to be the best option to solve a problem. And when a compromise is the solution, neither person gets all of what they wanted, hoped for, expected, or planned. Sometimes in a marriage, we don’t even have time or maybe the desire or energy or patience to work out a compromise. And so, at that time, the beauty of our marriage fades. We don’t want it to fade, but it does. This is the reality of living life in this world that we live in. But this problem also sets up the possibility and opportunity for a solution. A solution to the fading of beauty in our marriages. The solution is that we can choose to do things, and learn patterns of living, that bring beauty back into our marriages. We can learn how to practice these patterns and begin to get better at doing things that bring beauty, so that, over time, the result of our hard work, is, well, yes you guessed it, A More Beautiful Marriage. It doesn’t come easily or quickly, but it is possible.
What are the ingredients to making A Beautiful Marriage? That is a very good question. I’m glad that you asked. Keep reading, because this is one of the main questions that I want to answer. But, in short, the ingredients to A Beautiful Marriage are things like Kindness and consideration, forgiveness and patience. These things are not qualities that people are born with, they must be learned and take time. And so it is in marriage, a learning process that takes time, but can be accelerated greatly by making the marriage relationship enough of a priority to dedicate time regularly to it’s movement toward beauty.
A Few Thoughts on Beauty:
Why talk about beauty? It is because it will help to answer the question, what is A Beautiful Marriage?
Is beauty in the eye of the beholder, or is beauty objective in reality? It is a little bit of both, but mostly it is an objective reality. Let me explain. The bible says that, “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens… (James 1:17). So, everything good is from God. Grace, for example, a very good thing, is always beautiful, if it is real grace. So, when grace is expressed purely, making it real, it is always beautiful. The reason I said it is a little bit of both, is because if someone is talking about a person’s definition of beauty, then that would depend completely on that person’s definition of beauty. But, as the creator of the world and everything in it, God’s definition of beauty is much more important than a person’s definition of beauty. God’s definition of beauty is the objective standard for beauty. So, the first question is, who is defining beauty? Then we can more clearly ask the question, what is beauty, and then, what is A Beautiful Marriage? For the purposes of this writing, I am more interested in God’s definition of beauty, or specifically, God’s definition of A Beautiful Marriage. If God made people in the first place, as the bible says, then it makes sense to consider his perspective on what makes a marriage beautiful.
Topics Planned for this first part of my blog:
1. Movement Toward Beauty
2. The Ingredients of Beauty
3. Reducers of Beauty
4. Two Steps Forward, One Back
5. Teamwork: Two Intentional People
6. On Going it Alone
7. Help From God and Others
8. It Doesn’t Always Go Like We Hope
9. God Can Bring Beauty from Ashes