Created for Connection

The stage for our wedding reception in July 2004

Our park reception in 2004

I get to officiate at two weddings this year. Part of the process is to meet for conversation, preparation, intentional reflection, and some instruction with each of these couples.

As I put time and energy into what I will share and introduce to the fiancees, I’m analyzing the marriage I live inside myself.

I’m encouraged to know the story Drew and I live is more rich and secure than 10 years ago when we wrote the first chapter. At the same time, reading a book about making a marriage last/avoiding divorce, (Seven Principals for Making Marriage Last by John Gottman) has pointed out some flaws the author says are fatal that we cycle through as a couple. We are not perfect but we are commited to the covenant we made and weathering the changes that come. We practice and repeat the good things we’ve learned and continue to cut off what seeps in to knock us down.

A few things I’m encouraged to remember as I teach others right now.

We are created out of connection to be connected.

God, a reality of relationship, birthed humanity in God’s own image to be male and female as a way to fully reflect God’s creative life energy.

Because we were made out of a relationship (God three persons in one), we are are to exist in relationship.

We were created to connect to God and another, and to co-create.

Anytime we give our self to something bigger than us, we create something to give to the world. Yes children, but also hope, joy, peace-making, something productive for others, something healing for the earth- creation out of, and because of, love. A healthy relationship means people are connected, with trust, intimacy, and no shame. Trust implies and requires connection (making a commitment), proximity (aligning one’s life to another- moving physically and geographically together), and engagement (an ongoing intentional togetherness).

The deepest part of love is knowing  one another.

The Bible talks about sexual love as “knowing”. Gottman says the surest way to equip a marriage for a ride through changes, challenges, or children is to have a foundation of really knowing your spouse- their insignificant preferences (ice cream order) as well as their deepest dreams (musings on what matters most).

If I feel known, I will be free to risk and love back. To let myself be known requires me to be vulnerable, but I’m able to do so because the one I’m opening up to, really wants to know me and loves me because of all he has come to know.

To really love another, I must seek to know all about them, as they are right now, and must pursue continual connection to stay in touch as they grow and change. Good questions, intentional conversations, care and concern…all these host the discoveries.

People who stay married really like each other and exist as friends. 

Gottman’s well-researched conclusion is that people stay married if they enjoy being with each other.

Today is the fourth wedding anniversary of the couple who inaugurated my wedding officiant career. Zach and Christine Osborne gave me the great privilege of marrying them on a windy March evening four years ago. Couple-371

When I think of marriages I admire, Zach and Christine’s is one. They know each other really well and truly like each other. They nurture respect for each other, have goals in common and support each other’s individual endeavors.  Each are fun and talented and they give each other lots of ways to play, have fun, and laugh. I respect their teamwork in cooking, hosting great parties, cleaning, and being awesome aunts and uncles. They sit by each other in larger groups- they are interested in being together, with others. Inside jokes, deep love, service outside themselves, and a knowledge of each other and how they work, shore up a young marriage into one I deeply admire and seek to emulate.

Happy Anniversary, Zach and Christine.

Take care of your connection, all married couples.

And, “Hi…I love you” to my husband who I know in every single way and call my favorite friend.

head smush





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