It became an evening I’ll always remember. I was at a business dinner seated next to an acquaintance I had always admired. Neither of our spouses had been included. He asked about my recent marriage. I explained how unexpected my husband’s proposal was (we had been good friends) after being single 9 years. Given that my life paradigm included a vow to never marry again, I initially said no.
Then we very thoughtfully considered our reasons for marriage. We shared common life goals, had a wonderful friendship, and both have a love of the Bible as well as an ongoing study of it. Our marriage has been filled with humor and consideration for each other. Through some tough patches, it has spurred us both to become better individuals. My dinner partner sighed deeply and said, “Yes, that’s the way it is with marriage. First you pray to it and then you have to pray all the way through it.”
Consider with me for a moment that perhaps the first relationship for us to seek/discover/nurture is with God. I mean, on a regular basis I wind up there anyway! I think the following passage, though written almost 130 years ago, captures these thoughts. It’s by Mary Baker Eddy, named one of the top 100 influential figures in American history – a woman who knew a lot about love, heartache, marriage, and turning to the Divine:
“…I have a far off echo that is sweeter than vintage bells to the villagers on the Rhine. It is the Love that never fails me, the sweet, strong glorious friendship with my own Soul, with my individual God that is so infinite in Truth and Love I cannot tell what His personality is, but this I do know, that when all that is human fails, this divine friendship goes on, and I and He come nearer,” from The Mary Baker Eddy Collection