A couple close to me recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.
On the surface, they are like ‘chalk and cheese.’
The wife is optimistic, impulsive and very positive. The husband, on the other hand, is a wee bit less optimistic and less impulsive.
About ten years into their marriage I asked her what it was that she saw in him that made her want to marry him. She responded, “His soul’s vision is the same as mine and he makes me laugh.”
It made me think of the letter that Paul wrote to the church in Philippi where he states “then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” (Philippians 2:2)
They are both inordinately compassionate, hate injustice in any form and will always stand up for the downtrodden.
They both have a heart to serve the poor and marginalized and through the years I have admired how they are able to allow those who suffer to feel dignity.
They also both have a wonderful sense of humor.
She went on to explain that she had never met a man who shared the same soul vision as she did and who was prepared and committed to making that vision a reality no matter the sacrifices it might entail.
Their totally different personalities and way of doing things was something they could deal with because they shared the same soul vision.
Twenty years after asking her that question I asked the husband what advice he would give to other married couples or those contemplating marriage from his experience of 30 years marriage.
His reply was almost a replica of what she had said: “I think the only advice I have is to marry someone who shares the same values and goals in life as you do. And when things get tough—as they always do—hold on to the reasons why you married, and hold on to that commitment no matter what.”
A soul mate is the one person whose love is powerful enough to motivate you to meet your soul, to do the emotional work of self-discovery, of awakening.” —Kenny Loggins
For 30 years I have watched as these two have chosen to continue to love each other through every difficulty and challenge. Her reply to my question about marriage advice after 30 years was:
My marriage wisdom is sporadic. Commitment not a feeling and its jolly hard work.”
There has also never been a time when I am with them that there has not been laughter. No matter how dire a situation they have always maintained a sense of humor.
Kindness and a generous spirit go a long way. And a sense of humor. It’s like medicine—very healing. —Max Irons
Or as the Bible puts it “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22)
Commitment, hard work, a shared vision and a sense of humor are vital if you are going to have a good marriage.
So my prayer for all couples contemplating marriage or who are married is 3 John 1:2…
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well”