Forever after marriage is not easy to achieve. Five of every ten marriages do not make it past the seven-year mark. Part of the reason for that is that people do not understand how incredibly important it is that there wedding ceremony is the vehicle that will deliver their marriage to them. It is not the five minutes you end to get the fun of the day, it is the whole purpose. Your wedding guests are there to bear witness to the wedding vows that you are offering one another.
You do not want to say, "I do" or "Uh huh" or nod your head when someone asks you your intentions. You want to boldly declare that
- Your deepest desire and highest intention is to join your life and heart to your beloved's for the rest of your lives .
- You wish to live together forever.
You are no longer interested in being only an individual. Marriage does not remove your individuality. You must continue to work and grow and deepen as a person. It's sometimes harder because you must define yourself both in reference to and in opposition to your partner. You are related, but not one being. If you were one being, one head and one heart, how hard would marriage be? Not so hard! But, you offer your individuality as a foil, a blessing and, it must be admitted, a challenge to your partner. A marriage does not work if you do not bring yourself along. Otherwise your partner could have married a mirror!
When you make this commitment, you are saying that you wish your life to grow with and into the life of this beloved partner. You wish to create a marriage .
This is work that requires delicate balance. The challenge that a really good marriage accepts is balancing the growth of the individuals with the growth of the marriage. Your dedication to this challenge must be explicit in your wedding vows. It must be acknowledged to your community in your wedding ceremony. Your community must be asked to support you in managing that challenge.
Before you get in that marriage car, you need to know that forever is your destination. It's hard enough to have a successful marriage. Without an explicit acknowledgment of this goal – and its fundamental importance in each of your lives – you're far less likely to get to where you want to go. And as that famous quote tells us: "If you do not know where you're going, you're likely to get there!" So, go exactly where you want to go: to a life shared by happy dedicated individuals who wanted nothing more than a journey in one another's company.