Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
That directive, given by God to Adam and Eve remains of great importance---probably more so than when it was given in the garden of Eden.
Often, the event of marriage, with all its planning, pomp and ceremony, is viewed as the climax rather than a new beginning of unending potential and joy. The "I do" quickly followed, after the honeymoon, by "Now What?"
the verb "cleave" has two totally opposite definitions:
1) to be faithful and adhere
2) to divide or split
Without conscious effort and care, we can slowly become divided as we get caught up in the daily grind of, well -----
our daily grind.
It won't happen all at once and it won't happen at
all IF -----
we remain attentive to one another and one another's needs.
IF we care about our spouse more than we care about ourselves.
Decades ago, Richard and Linda Eyre*
sat in a meeting where all married couples
were urged to continue their courtship,
including going out on a date once each
week, along with the promise that if they
would do that one simple thing their love
and commitment to each other would
continue to grow.
Quite a challenge, quite a commitment, quite a promise!
The Eyres took that advice to heart. They had weekly dates and they are still in love ---- more than ever.
*The Eyres are New York Times No. 1 best-selling authors who lecture throughout the world on family-related topics.
The following are excerpts from one of their recent newspaper columns on marriage relationships.
"When you courted your spouse, you thought about it, you planned it — you strategized how to win her (or him). There was nothing you wouldn’t do, no small touch you wouldn’t add and no effort you wouldn’t make.
"And you sought to create romance! Is it any less important now?
"In your courtship, you worked hard and thought hard to find out what he or she liked most and what made the other happy. Is it any less important to know those things now — and to practice and implement them?
"We all need to remember that our spouses are not only our partners, but also the other part of a “oneness” that is a perfectible entity. In that context, nothing is more important than the ongoing progress and strengthening of our marital relationships.
"Speaking for ourselves, we may not have grown more alike during our first 40 years together (though we clearly have in some areas), but we have continually come to appreciate each other more, including learning to appreciate and even celebrate our differences.
"We have fallen more in love because we are continually learning new things about the other to fall in love with.
"We have decided that we each actually have more influence over the happiness of the other person than over our own. We have decided that we like interdependence much more than independence, and we have adopted the mantra that “if it’s important to you, it’s important to me.”"
Dave and I have followed this same advice for our nearly 50 years of marriage. We agree with this profound but simple advice that works!
In my next post I will share some of the things that have worked for us and a little more from the Eyres.