Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
September 12, 2005
Being happily married means paying attention
Light One Candle
Lately, I seem to have heard of more engagements, weddings and anniversaries than ever. I came upon a statistic that probably accounts for it.
Did you know that there are approximately 2.3 million weddings a year in the United States? That's almost 6,400 a day. Twelve thousand, eight hundred men and women say "I do" to the commitment of a lifetime every 24 hours.
Except, of course, for many couples, the marriage doesn't last a lifetime. In fact, 40 per cent of first-time marriages fail. That's more than unfortunate because marriage is so important, not only to men and women, but to society as a whole.
THE GOOD POINTS
According to a team of family life experts, married men earn more, live longer and have better relationships with their children.
Married women have lower rates of depression and a lower risk of domestic violence than cohabitating or dating women.
Children who live with two married parents enjoy better physical health and are more likely to graduate from college and achieve high-status jobs.
All this information comes from our own current Christopher News Note, What Marriage Means, Why Marriage Matters.
Being a married man myself for many years, I'd never say marriage is easy. And I'm pretty sure my wife, Margo, would agree with me. In fact, she'd probably say that would be putting it mildly.
I also believe that a happy marriage is one of the greatest experiences a man or woman can ever know.
For a marriage to succeed for both husband and wife demands a lot; mostly, that we pay attention. We need to pay attention to ourselves and our deepest needs and desires - and give equal consideration to those of our partner.
We need to pay attention to everyday little things that bind a couple together or we'll never be able to face the big, mind-blowing crises that come our way - and they will. We need to pay attention to the spiritual power and potential of marriage.
Some of the people quoted in What Marriage Means, Why Marriage Matters had some great things to say about marriage and its spiritual dimension:
PAUSE FOR PRAYER
There's a prayer I've always found meaningful, that's on the door of St. Stephen's Church in London. It strikes me that it could well be posted on every door of every home. Here it is:
"God make the door of this house wide enough to receive all who need human love and fellowship, narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride and strife.
"Make its threshold smooth enough to be no stumbling block to children, nor to straying feet, but rugged and strong enough to turn back the tempter's power. God, make the door of this house the gateway to thine eternal kingdom."
All I can add is a great big, "Amen!"
(For a free copy of the Christopher News Note, write: The Christophers, 12 East 48 St., New York, NY, 10017; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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