Monday, February 7, 2011

The Need for Marriage Reformation

This week I came across a piece of news which inspired me. The week from February 7th to 14th is set aside as National Marriage Week  in several countries around the world. National Marriage Week is the brainchild of Richard Kane who started it in the United Kingdom in 1996. It is now spread to the Czech Republic, Hungry, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Australia.

Nobody can deny that today our marriages are in trouble. We are looking at a divorce rate of 50% with the United States heading the world statistics.

I learned that whatever we focus on will manifest. We have to asked ourselves: what is the purpose of marriage? People marry for many different reasons like legal, social, emotional, economical, spiritual and/or religious purposes. Historically, romantic love was not emphasized. Could that be a reason so many marriages fail today?

Purpose of Marriage

Marriage is part of the sacraments.  According to the dictionary it is a rite, a covenant, an oath of allegiance, a grace and a blessing. The sacraments are deeply rooted in the Judeo-Christian traditions. They are derived from the idea that there is one God who wants to express himself into humans in the form of his male-female nature (Gen: 1:27-28). It goes along with the purpose of life which is that God created man and woman as his substantial objects in order to experience love and joy from them.

"Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh."
~ Gen 2:24

Leaving our fathers and mothers is only natural when we grow up. It is not a final separation but a letting go in order to start a new stage of life. It is my firm conviction that today as much as throughout history that the purpose of marriage is to procreate the lineage of God. It takes only seconds to conceive a child, 9 months for the baby to mature to the point that it can live in this physical world. Then it takes another 18+ years for the child to grow and develop into a healthy, well-balanced adult. During that time, both boys and girls need the guidance, encouragement and love of both parents; a mother and a father, or someone who can take equivalent responsibility for the youngster. Children learn through example, watching and emulating their elders, it is just the way we are made.

Role of Churches and Religious Institutions

Marriage works, it makes people happier, live longer, and build more economic security. Children with married parents perform better in school. I believe it is the responsibility of the religious institutions to educate young people about marriage, relationships, raising children, creating a well-balanced home. With the focus on living for the other person, the husband living for his wife and his children, the wife living for her husband and her children, and the children honoring their parents, love will grow in that family. People who fall in love can easily fall out of love. With a focus on a higher purpose than themselves, love will embrace that family, because that’s the way God has set it up. The family is the school of love and only within the realm of the family can all the relationships mature.

Happiness is a State of Mind

I want clarify here a point which is very crucial of a good marriage. If we are looking for the other person to make us happy, or the beautiful house we live in or the great vacations we can take because of our social status, we will be ultimately disappointed. I learned that happiness is a state of mind. We decide to be happy and can share that happiness with our partner or in our family. Have you ever noticed that some people are “naturally happy?” It is an attitude to be happy and attitudes can be learned like any skill.

The Three Great Blessings

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (KJV)
~ Gen.: 1:28

Within this blessing, God created man and woman to grow to maturity, then to have children and upon building the family, have dominion over all of creation. This is the central part of the teachings of the Unification Church, founded by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.

He has been controversial ever since he started to speak publicly. He just turned 91 and together with his wife has been setting unprecedented records of international marriage ceremonies with hundreds and thousands in attendance.

Gender Characteristics versus Gender Roles

Men are generally more aggressive, assertive, bold, courageous, decisive, dominant, independent, physically strong, and vigorous.

Women are generally more affectionate, beautiful, caring, dependent, empathetic, gentle, graceful, nurturing, patient, sensitive, soft, and submissive.

Obviously, some of these characteristics are not exclusive to either men or women. Through the marriage, by becoming “one flesh,” each of the partners adopts each others characteristics. Both men and women need to incorporate most these characteristics into their personalities.

Additionally, each man represents cosmic masculinity or divine masculine love. Every woman represents cosmic femininity or divine female love. Through their physiological differences they are complementing and fulfill each other completely because God created it that way.

I congratulate National Marriage Week to shine light on the age-old institution of marriage and support them in their efforts to revive it to the point where it is suitable for today's young poeple.  With some encouragement and spiritual guidance our young people will continue the traditions of creating healthy and happy families.

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