Friday, March 26, 2010


The word doesn't get thrown around too often. There are few things left in this world that people still consider with a hope of inviolability, of earthly holiness and beyond. And yet somehow, in the midst of this universal skepticism of all things institutional or traditional, we still have this childlike hope in the sanctity of marriage.
The statistics don't lie; no matter your religious affiliation, societal or economic status, marriage is a coin flip. The failure of man and woman to live up the the promise of 'till death do us part' stares us in the face as we grow up, half of us in divided households, fragmented families. You don't even have to go that far back into history before we find a culture where a failed marriage is a red flag, and badge worn shamefully by those who took part. And yet the wedding day is still the most celebrated day in most people's lives.
And I LOVE this, for so many reasons (one of which, of course, being that I will get to experience this in two short months). I love the fact that we still live in a world of love, where we spend our lives searching for a person with which we might share life's greatest intimacies. I have seen a happy marriage from up close. My parents loved each other with a passion an joy that was out of this world. They would do anything for one another, even if it meant putting themselves aside, again and again. And while their marriage was at its core spiritually charged, what was just as astonishing was the normalcy with which they shared themselves completely. It is the purest form of coming together, of living as two and as a unified one at the same time.
We have all, married or not, members of unified families or not, at least experienced 'that friendship' where things just seemed to click, to fall into place as you discovered an inordinate amount of commonalities. These things are born out of love, out of the sanctity of shared experience, shared passion, hopes and dreams. And you're a fool if you don't see God's hand in it all; our creation as relational beings and the way we cherish the opportunity to spend life WITH another.
Some people will never be married, however, and some marriages are going to fail as we've seen. But all will benefit from living in a world where love is paramount. With a God like ours, marriage serves only as a prime example of, and not the soul route to, love. The sacrificial nature of successful marriages is only a microcosm of the sacrifice God made in order to make ultimate love possible. When my dad was sick in bed during his last month with us, he told me he was still glad it was him, and not my mother, that was having to suffer so greatly. And of course he should say that, but I knew he meant it, and I knew he could mean it only because of what God had revealed to him over so many years. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16 is perhaps THE verse we all recognize from the Bible. Why? because God so LOVED the world. It's simply stated, and yet the implications of that love have changed history.
So, I guess this little entry is turning into a call to arms. If we don't uphold the sanctity of God's blessing in marriage, the sanctity of the only thing bridging the gap between we the people and our Creator, then all is lost.
Man, I am excited.