At a young age, many of us dream and fantasize about that magical feeling of being swept off our feet by our Prince Charming. We plant ourselves in fairytale stories and pretend we are the princess. Our imagination takes us to spinning around in that elegant ballgown, walking down a marble staircase draped in elegance. Our hearts beat out of our chests with anticipation as butterflies flutter within us. A spark sets off and twinkles brightly through our eyes. We float on air filled with desire, passion, and pure love. The fairytale story…two people that have fallen in love with one another. And, with hope the fairytale leads to a life-long commitment of marriage.
Two weeks ago, the beginning of this personal fairytale took shape for my daughter - she was asked her hand in marriage; an engagement to the love her life. The story of the betrothal was quite enchanting…a surprise engagement, down on one knee, in the sand where his childhood memories were made and where they hope their future memories will reside. They were surrounded by the people they love the most and who love them unconditionally in return – family.
These two, at a fairly young age, have faced their challenges. As a parent, it has been hard and downright frightening at times to witness these two birds try and fly; but watch their wings get clipped. But, the one thing that has persevered is their commitment of love towards one another. That is the beauty of this love story. Two young adults that stood by one another, supported and held the other up through difficult times. Two young adults that found the good in each other. Two young adults that faced adversity and persevered because love can conquer all.
What is so special to witness, is the foundation of kindness, empathy, understanding and support that lives within their relationship. As we all know, no relationship is perfect but, allowing kindness to lead your thoughts and actions, can solve so much.
The next many months, I’m hopeful, will be filled with pleasant planning, readying themselves to take that sacred bond of two truly becoming one.
Many years ago, I found this passage - “The Art of Marriage.” It’s quite simple, yet profound.
THE ART OF MARRIAGE
The little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
I hope & pray these words sear their hearts and are present in each God-given day of their lives together. I’m also hopeful that I have provided each of you, reading this blog today, with a tad of inspiration to remember to lead with kindness in each of your relationships.