In my early 20s I seriously had no clue about intimate relationships. I was actually against marriage as a concept.
I thought it was some kind of trap set by women who just wanted children and to “tie her man down”. The culture I grew up in said the same thing. “The Mrs” was often referred to as the “ball and chain”.
I just wanted to be completely free with no responsibilities and I even thought about moving away somewhere so that I could meditate in a cave for a year or 10 … because I was just SOOOO spiritual …ya know?
But then … I fell in love with a woman who also didn’t believe in marriage. But I still wanted my freedom (or my perception of it) and this was always going to cause conflict in our relationship.
Then one day, I read something that turned my world view upside down in an instant.
The writer and theologian, Emil Bock, wrote that our society has made a terrible mistake in its belief that marriage is only about the 2 people involved.
He described the most important effect of the Sacrament of Marriage as being the release of a multitude of higher, spiritual forces of life which can flow into human communities and civilizations.
“Where this sphere is active – darkness begins to light up. The burden of life’s cares becomes endurable. the torments of bitterness are healed through divine sources of joy.”
Almost as soon as I read this, I told my girlfriend (now my wife) to pack her things, because we were going away for a couple of days. I took her to my favourite place in the mountains of Victoria, Australia where I grew up. We went up to the peak and amidst the squawking of cockatoos and the morning mist I sang her a self-penned song (corny, I know), got down on one knee and asked her to marry me.
I believe that intimate relationships and marriages have a higher purpose that we need to get in touch with if we’re going to survive the many pitfalls.
But I’m not interested in just ‘surviving’.
I want more. I want to evolve. I want a potent, fulfilling partnership that heals the world. Don’t you?
Having an intimate relationship is the most potent path of spiritual development available. But it’s not for the faint hearted. Nothing will teach you more about yourself (or another) than a live-in human being who gets to witness all sides of you.
A couple is the smallest community. If two people can bring even just a tiny, homeopathic dose of peace into the world, even in just one little area of their life … the world is changed.
The world changes for you as an individual, for you as a couple. This flows out into the way you are with your children, your friends, your work colleagues, your community.
Ultimately, my belief is that working on a relationship is a step toward creating world peace.
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