The doctrine (and practice) of true marriage love is one of the most wonderful things we can offer this world, as Christian people.
"The marriage of one husband with one wife is the precious jewel of human life." - Emanuel Swedenborg (Conjugial Love 457)
In what ways is the doctrine and practice of true marriage love different from the ways the rest of the world looks at marriage?
- Marriage is Eternal: If we think of marriage as temporary, then we won't treat it with the care it deserves. But if we recognize that marriage is eternal, we will treasure it, and nurture it, with the knowledge that it will keep getting better to eternity in Heaven.
- Marriage is about Daily Choice, or Daily Consent: In rough times in our marriage, we might be tempted to think, "Did I make the wrong choice? Did I pick the wrong person? Should I have chosen somebody else?" These thoughts will break down a marriage. Finding our "true love" is not about destiny, it's about the work of choosing to love someone every minute of every day. We have the power to make our spouse our "true love," simply by choosing them.
- Marriage is about the Complementary Union of two individuals into one "angel": Men and Women each represent half of humanity. As an individual we are really only half human, and half the image of God. But in marriage we can come together in a complementary union that allows for true human happiness.
- Marriage (like Spiritual Re-Birth) takes regular Maintenance: We might be tempted to think that once we've gotten married, the work is over. Actually the work is just begining, and if a marriage doesn't have daily maintenance, it will fall apart much faster than any machine. If we make it a spiritual discipline to love God, and love our neighbor (the nearest one being our spouse) then we will find true happiness.