Living with Someone You Love

16 August 2006: Friday of the 19th Year in Ordinary Time
Matthew 19, 3-12: On Marriage

Have you ever dreamed of living your life with someone whom you love; spending the rest of your lifetime with him or her; keeping your relationship intact; building a family together; seeing your children and grandchildren? I guess all of us have intimate desires such as these: often, meaning and direction is not found in discovering one’s career, but in finding someone --- and staying with that significant other.

Today, we find ourselves confronted with marriage; and asking the question, how do we keep a marriage. Some advice from others validated with my experience.

  1. To keep a fire burning brightly, there’s one easy rule: Keep the logs together; near enough to keep warm and far enough apart for breathing room. Good fire, good marriage, same rule. Marnie Reed Crowel

I remember my parents. My mom and dad have a ritual together. They would wake up ahead of all of us and spend time talking over breakfast. They have lived with a commitment: they will wait for each other at mealtimes. I would remember my dad kissing my mom before he leaves for office or when he arrives from office. They would embrace each other often. I guess, this is what made their marriage warm and cozy.

However, there is breathing room. My dad had his various interests and activities. He goes with his friends. And my mom would be busy at home, but never demanding my dad to be present all the time. My mom attends her alumni gatherings at St. Agnes Academy.

But this routine allows one to have stories to tell. At night, I would hear them talking about what happened during the day. Each one volunteering their own stories. That way, they kept the fire burning.

  1. A good marriage is the union of two forgivers. Ruth Bell Graham

I also remember my parents. My mom and dad had arguments --- about running the house, about people they work with, about financial matters, about our problems, etc. I would hear them argue, also at mealtimes. My father has a temper, like myself. But as much as they have argued and hurt each other, they always end up kissing and forgiving each other at the end of the day. I know my mom’s complaint about Dad, but my mom never let it color her heart.

  1. One advantage of marriage, it seems to me, is that when you fall out of love with him, or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you maybe fall in again. Judith Viorst

I remember my grandparents. My grandparents were not as demonstrative as my mom and dad. I guess many times they have fallen out of love with each other. My lolo had an attitude. But they kept the marriage. Being the firstborn, I have spent considerable time with my lola and lolo, in my dad’s ancestral home. I cannot forget the smell of old wood and furniture, the look of antique tables and rocking chair. Before my lolo died, I remember my lola taking good care of him. In the end, I remember the two of them just together. Commitment is greatly felt when the romantic feeling fades.

To me, the rule of marriage is also the rule in maintaining all sorts of relationships. Enough spaces for intimacy and individuality. Forgiveness as many times as possible. Seventy-seven, seven times as Jesus said --- infinitely, again and again. And finally, having that commitment to keep you together, just in case, you fall out and in love again.


flowerdrumsong said...

Wow, Fr. JBoy. Very apt reflection for me who's a bride-to-be!

Thanks for sharing your reflection. It's very meaningful! :)

Jessel Gerard said...

Dear flowerdrumsong,

Thank you very much. Will pray for your coming wedding. Am sure it will be a very memorable event.

Jboy SJ