“I want my marriage to look less like the world and more like the Christ” – Marquis Clarke
One of the prime reasons of one’s long-lasting happiness lies in one’s marriage. In marriage, the two become one. Not that they get glued to each other’s bodies or in any mental way, but become one on the road leading them towards the attainment of their ultimate goal of being – finding God or to say finding themselves in truest of the ways. God’s design of marriage never claims untainted happiness, battle-free living or skeptic fulfillment of human passions. In its purest form, an arrangement of a marriage must be aimed at having partnership in all our life’s endeavors and a holy intimacy.
Partnership is needed to travail towards our physical and mental expressions by building the right kind of intimacy. This forms the very basis of existence of species. Marriage is one of the most sturdy foundation for building a family. But life is not a bed of roses. The same goes for a marriage. Every couple has bad days, yells at his or her spouse or become downright selfish. Despite these issues, God positions marriage on the top and uses it as a mechanism to stir both man and woman to move towards his vector attaining divine purposes of existence.
More often in life, we find God when there happens no need for us to actually search him. On any usual day, if we are feeling happy with relationships around us, feeding ourselves correctly and not finding ourselves in mid of any major adversity, we may forget to ask for his grace or our asking is not as intense as it is on the days when we don’t feel one with ourselves or people around us. This becomes all the more profound if we are having any differences with our spouse. Any good regular Indian wife would find herself begging for divine intervention when her husband doesn’t go her way. So, finding likeness with one’s spouse is as good as having his grace.
Imagine one day we die, get to meet some real God and he asks, “How was heaven and How was your God right down there? Did you treat him well?”. They say God can’t be everywhere, and so he created mothers. So true ! In extension to this, he also created marriage for if he himself was to move along with us each day of our lives, he may miss out by standing and living through our lives throughout given the kind of effort required. Our partner just fills this gap; he is the one and only one complete witness to our lives. For most of us, our marriage is the longest relationship of our life and thus, it carries the best opportunity to be used as a spiritual instrument.
When it comes to adjustments, it is comparatively easier for couples to accommodate each other for habits and beliefs related to food, clothing, education, work and many more. Although any drifts in these can also lead to destructions, but still they are workable. Another elevation where differences can not make their way out is religious or spiritual belief system of man and wife. With my experience, standing differences in religion is easier than putting up with nonconformity in spirituality. It is so more significantly in India. Any common Indian household will have a worship area with ten different Gods sitting there, with the man of the house worshipping one particular God, woman adoring a dozen of her favorites, children having their own choice of God, and what more; some being there because they made their way into the house as gifts from friends and relatives. Such is religious acceptance in India, which I don’t think this can be seen anywhere else in the world. Different gods just get easily accepted by different people in family and marriage. But imagine the child putting a Christ’s photo in a Hindu household temple catechising why Rama is God for the family and Christ is not. He won’t know what he did before his dinner plate gets cleared up from the family table.
Walking on a spiritual path is not about one’s visits to temples, traditions and rituals or pushing the world towards increase in one’s community’s count. All these have their own purpose and place in life, if followed in right ways. Spirituality is like having one more layer above religion that provides a better mental health coverage to a person. I believe we have a better mental constitution when we have answers to the most sought after questions of life. If one’s religion can provide him with that, then nothing serves him better. But with the sad state of religious liberties enjoyed by man now, it hardly happens. Therefore, the act of introducing spirituality to one’s marriage can usher more benefits than can be imagined.
The path is about growing out of the existing bounds of what one knows or is compelled to know and stepping into a new world of seeking and fishing for reasons behind many of our belief systems and most importantly, about one’s own existence. Partners in marriage can help each quench their own and each other’s thirst for seeking and reaching towards fulfillment. This relationship with its physical and mental dimensions can multiple one’s spiritual journey, strengthens faith and enable benefits out of it. If one, in a couple, is religious and the other is spiritual, they both can still enjoy the essence of righteous path provided they don’t demean the spirit of seeking for each other. If we keep on seeking by asking, we are bound to get the answers some day. It’s a resilient fibrous struggle undertaken from the deep internals. If our spouse refuses to aid, it becomes all the more tough and the balance between the materialism and non-materialism may break. If the wife believes in idol worship and urges her atheist husband to worship, he may feel frustrated and suffocated with her requests. It anyways shall do no good for him as he lacks faith in the temple system because faith is the only back-bone of religion. Similarly, if a husband is credulous to some superstitions and tries to get them done from his comparatively rational wife, it shall put both of them on a compromising spree. Matters related to religion and spirituality are better dealt with humble requests instead of pressures for no one knows what is actually right or wrong, better or worse till one reaches God by himself. If partners do not find themselves agreeing to each other even with requests, it does not make them aliens from some other planet. It’s only that they have a different chemical structure within, reacting to different kind of understanding of life, but they are equally human. A day may occur before us where we realize our partner was right and we were wrong. So, it is better to make surmises from the both equally significant.
One of the most unusual way to say “I Love You!” to your spouse is to gift him/her a silent spiritual retreat. The bliss and grace he/she accumulates from such a bequest will also strengthen the relationship. Sometimes, it can lead to a unbreakable bond which can stand stalwartedly in thin times. In marriage, make each other move more towards God for if one can be helpful in hoisting his/her soul mate in search for their own soul in tiniest way, one has done a lot.