By Loraine Debnam
We had a wedding in the family this month.
It was an outdoor ceremony and the weather cooperated with blue skies, sunshine and no wind.
Against a backdrop of the Alberta foothills, two hundred guests celebrated with this happy young couple. Aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, grandparents (and even a “great”) were there to witness the pledges and promises made.
All were asked for their support for the success of this endeavor. The word heard most frequently was commitment. Married people need a lot of that.
But the words left out are just as important. Patience also has value here.
There are many learning experiences during years of marriage that are a test of our patience. Learning to understand all of the traditions which are ingrained into our spouse (of which we have no knowledge or understanding) can certainly be a stretch.
Long hours spent apart for work, careers or other obligations; personal habits that we had no idea the other one had (or if we did we thought they would change) all require patience.
Eventually these things become not so important in the grander scheme of things but when we first are looking at the romance of being married folks, they have a greater significance.
To be able to give these young people patient hearts would be an invaluable gift.
Equality too would be a wonderful gift. I’m not speaking of gender equality here but I heard someone say that no marriage is a fifty-fifty partnership and I would have to agree.
But the best ones are those in which the greater giving is not done by the same partner every time.
I have a friend who has been single for a long time, and happily so, but still sometimes she wishes for that other person who would listen to her problems and be a part of the solutions.
Shared labors as well as shared joys are very rich rewards.
Pride in what you accomplish together comes when acknowledgement is given to each partner for his/her individual contribution.
Of course there are many jokes about the downside of marriage and words popped into conversations like “binding”, “obligations”, and “constraints” and especially “work”.
Well, marriage is work.
That doesn’t mean it has to be negative.
Working together toward your common goals, as long as they are shared goals, can be the richest part of a marriage.
Playing together is fun too!
Memories made from each these provide strong foundations on which to build a life together.
The happy couple were wished happiness always and maybe that’s not such a wonderful thing.
Sometimes our troubles and tragedies prove to be strong links which bind two people.
Working through differences and difficulties can sometimes be a test of every promise made at the altar.
The couple that emerges whole from life’s adversities, although forever changed, is often fortified because of them.
When I used to listen to my own parents talking about the “apple box cupboards” in their first home, I never heard any bitterness or resentment, only a gentle humor about working through those tough times as partners.
So for our young couple, and anyone else who is in a partnership, here are wishes for patience, equality, work, play and just enough trouble to make you appreciate the good times.