So anyway, finally, a few of the different “body parts of marriage” then! This list is sure to grow, and definitely deserves a blog post all of its own. However, I definitely wanted to at least refer to some of these in this post.
1. Cosmic Connection: this consists of the sparks, or that emotional intimacy that makes me feel as if I am on the same wavelength as someone, or as if he is my soulmate. For me this has always been the part that I think of most when I think of marriage. This also corresponds to romantic feelings for me
ii Friendship – Working to build a great friendship even into our great romance. Thinking of what would make an excellent friendship: being there for one another, making time for one another, letting the other person be, accepting them no matter what…
iii.Agape – the Christian New Testament word for unconditional sacrificial love, wanting the best for the other person (which is for them to be like Christ) and working in every way to cultivate that…
2. The Practicalities of Living together, or making one life from two: there are two further distinct parts that I can think of within this:
i. Trying to merge and synchronise your life goals together, your careers, different dreams etc
ii. Practical logistics of living together – managing time, space and other co-shared resources. For instance, I am VERY messy. (Very clean in terms of soap and cleaning kitchens and plates etc – but untidy in terms of things being everywhere!) I’m trying to shout out as loudly as I can about this, so that no-one will be surprised. However, I know that this is one of the things that can quickly irritate someone else, especially if he is very tidy
3.Big Events: Managing emergencies or crises that could arise that you might have to face together. It is often here that characters and strengths are revealed.
4. Money – interestingly, I don’t think that this is like a “limb”, but rather like another “lifeblood”, because at least in the Western world it is seemingly necessary for every part of life, and therefore an important consideration for every part of your married life
5. Sex – I can’t imagine how embarrassing it might be to try to discuss this with your fiancé before you get married, for instance what you think your needs might be within marriage. Blush blush! 😉
6. Children – this one is very interesting, as children are not in any way really essential for marriage, although different cultures might dispute that. However, once you do have them, then it’s like they become a whole other ecosystem within the existing ecosystem of your marriage, or another body within the body of your marriage, and sadly very capable of breaking your marriage
7. Time – once again, another lifeblood
8. Communication – as already discussed at length!
9. Prayer – if communication with your husband is the lifeblood of your marriage, then what could prayer to God be? An even more essential lifeblood, needed for every part of your marriage, both as an individual, and as a couple together
10. Inlaws/family interaction – beyond your immediate family
11. Wider community involvement
12. Wider social involvement.
This list is quite long, but there are probably a number of other very important aspects that I cannot think of right now. If it seems too daunting, why not try to think of the 5 or 10 most important aspects to you to focus on, and then actively work on those? If you are married then it would be great to have the agreement of your spouse on this. Any marriage is a continued work in progress so I think you are allowed to keep changing the aspects of your marriage that you focus on. Some aspects though like communication and prayer are going to remain essential.
25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.