Monday, August 14, 2017

MARRIAGE: PART 3 - "LET THERE BE SPACES IN YOUR TOGETHERNESS"

Posted by Tim
Continued from Marriage: Part 3

Taking a break from the battle at hand, I return for a moment to our series on marriage. 

If you recall, we began this series after our church leadership held a press conference about Guam's notorious divorce rate, and about what - at least one priest said - was being done about so many suffering marriages. 

One of the most significant commentaries I have ever read about marriage came in the text of a poem by Kahlil Gibran. And I'll tell you why I think it is so significant after you read it:

On Marriage
 Kahlil Gibran

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. 

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. 

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

*****

I believe today's marriages are failing at an exponential rate due in large part to all the emphases on complimentarity and communication. And when this fails, as it so often does, then married people think their marriage is a failure, when really, their aloneness, their separateness, their supposed failure to communicate, is but the "spaces in your togetherness," the space where the "winds of the heavens" are meant to "dance between you."

But such a space is crushed, not just the by persistent demand of the Oprah's and Dr. Oz's to "grow closer," or to "work at it," or to "try to understand each other," but also the modern Church which inserted the word "unitive" into the "ends of marriage." Something I will address another time. 

Meanwhile, Gibran's treatment of marriage hearkens to the words of Christ in Matthew 22:
"And Jesus answering, said to them: You err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be married; but shall be as the angels of God in heaven."

4 comments:

  1. Love is only love when it is about the Other Other. For some yes a bunch of their own children. Even a neo family would sometimes have me to dinner at their stretchy table and give me lifts in their stretchy car (and they weren't overloading it). But for the communion-as-smarties faction, the single, lonely or vulnerable don't matter ("the high demand movements will mop them up for us").

    The worship of God is to not stunt the growth of the fellow adopted widows and orphans in the profitable family firm while our Father and Master is in a far country (last 21 verses of Proverbs). The only crown you'll get is the crown you help someone else get (disciples helping the inconsiderable boy help Jesus feed the 5,000 and 4,000, parables of the talents - which are meant to be traded with church insiders - and of the fellow servants' rations).

    If the boundaries and dynamics wielded by NCW itinerants and Responsibles largely and increasingly stink, then it is incumbent on non-neos to take on roles in mutual interceding and Scripture study.

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  2. Marriage went down the tubes in the US because mandatory joint income tax return filings are insanely high. Many happily married couples divorced but continued to live together because of that.

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    Replies
    1. You are referring to the "marriage penalty." For those who don't know:
      https://taxfoundation.org/understanding-marriage-penalty-and-marriage-bonus/

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    2. I tried to address this back in 2009-2010 during the first debates over legalizing same-sex unions. The pro-crowd kept shouting about all the benefits married people have. LOL. Not!

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