I was once a guest at a wedding and what a wedding it was! The couple and their families had obviously spared no expense just to ensure that it was a statement wedding which dreams were made of. The wedding planner, whoever she was had interpreted the brief to the finest detail. The indoor venue of the reception was a replica of an English rose garden with rosebuds sprouting even as you watched. The caterer didn’t disappoint either, and the place setting was an artist’s delight. The crystal glasses sparkled, while the menu announcing the four-course meal was hoisted on a diamond cut crystal base lying next to one of the finest dinner sets I’d ever seen. It was indeed a sight for sore eyes.
When the obviously deliriously happy, love-smitten bride and groom, as well as their ladies in the waiting (in several stages of undress) finally strolled into the hall – serenaded all the way to their seats by a soloist – no one dared blink. Earlier at the church, they had left guests tearful as they exchanged personalized vows of eternal love and commitment. ‘My heart is yours, take it’, offered the groom. ‘My love for you is like a river. It never stops flowing,’ gushed the bride. And when they both whispered in unison, ‘Take me, I am yours, body, mind and soul,’ in a dramatic denouement, there wasn’t a dry eye in the church.
As I beheld this beautiful ceremony, I couldn’t help but call to mind the true-life story of the 1992 American Nobel Laureate for mathematics who discovered, after several years of a debilitating condition, that love was the one thing that could not be reduced to calculations. Having emerged on the other side of the ashes of pain, with a wife who had stood by him and endured the horrors life had thrown at their marriage, he learned a new mathematics-the Mathematics of Love. He came to the realization that there was one equation that all the mathematics I the world couldn’t solve, but which love could.
Now, looking at this young couple, questions raced through my mind. Will the two remain as one or will they remain as two individuals or even three (mother in law inclusive?). Will they grow to the full maturity of understanding the Mathematics of Love? Will they remember the vows they had just taken, ‘to love’ each other through the GOOD as well as the BAD times? When the children take time in coming and when pressure sets in, will their love strengthen and unite them? Or will they remember their vows no more?
In years to come, will they trade their love for some fling and bow to the seven year itch? Will he still find her attractive when age, the stealer of youth, sneaks in? Will they comfort each other when life throws in its wicked curves? One thing I wish I’d told them is that yes, marriage is a wonderful adventure with a soul mate, but it isn’t one continuous love cruise. There will be moments when you think “Why did I marry?” But like everything else, we must strive to make it work as long as no one’s life is endangered in the union.
Oh, why the sermon on Marriage? It’s my 21st wedding anniversary this July and I’m just in the mood to reminisce… and you do agree with me, don’t you, that I’ve been on this matrimonial journey long enough to sermonize? But before I close my sermon, permit me to leave every woman out who is trying to solve some marital equation with this prayer by an unknown author:
Dear Lord, I pray for
Wisdom to understand a man
Love-to forgive, and
Patience – For his moods
Because, Lord, If I pray for strength
I’ll just beat him to death. Amen
This piece was first published in 2008 but its message keeps resonating; it remains as instructive as ever especially as more and more people are losing faith in marriage for lack of a deeper understanding of what sustains marriage…One thing I know for sure is that God will not sit back and watch the enemy attack and destroy an institution that He established.