by Glenn Clark
Reprinted from Clear Horizons
A Quarterly of Creative Spiritual Living
Marriage is but a symbol of that far vaster unity of the souls of all mankind which can never be experienced in its perfection save in heaven. Finding no other way of showing to man what heaven was like, God invented marriage.
To bring the spirit of heaven into the home and to keep it there is to carry out one of the most precious purposes of our Father who is in heaven. Moses gave ten commandments to help people avoid going to hell. I shall here give ten beatitudes showing how married people can enter into heaven.
I. BLESSED are those married ones who strive, first of all, to make their helpmates happy rather than to make them good. To make ourselves good is indeed one of the first laws of heaven, but to make others happy is actually to bring heaven with all its glory and all its goodness, right down here among us here and now.
II. BLESSED are those married ones who love their helpmates not in spite of their frailties and idiosyncrasies but actually because of them. “For every one is a little queer in this world except thee and me, and sometimes thee is just a little queer.”
III. BLESSED are those married ones who are not lulled into self-complacency and self-conceit because of the other’s toleration of their frailties, but who work steadily to eradicate the faults and weaknesses while their weaknesses are still little lest they might someday grow into large burdock-bushes and go to seed.
IV. BLESSED are the married ones who don’t think it is always necessary to argue a thing through to a final conclusion but who know when to drop argument and trust to love and prayer. Discussions are beautiful in a home only so long as they are conducted with LIGHT and not with HEAT. Coal, oil, gas and sunshine can furnish all the heat needed to warm any home. The little tongue has set many homes on fire when it was used as a lighted torch and not as an incandescent light bulb.
V. BLESSED are the married ones who never get mad at the same time. Verily, verily, upon this commandment hangeth all the law and the prophets. When your partner elects to fume and spout, reserve your fuming and spouting till a later date. Two geysers going at the same time may make a nice Yellowstone Park but they make a wretched home.
VI. BLESSED are the married ones who never get blue at the same time. Every woman has a right to be temperamental once in a while. Every man may be excused for being temperamental once in a while, provided he selects a time which his wife has not selected before him. Reservations for this luxury should always be made in advance.
VII. BLESSED are the married ones who remember they are different halves of the same whole, and not the same halves of different wholes. “Better be a nettle in the side of your friend than his echo,” said Emerson. Let your helpmate adventure into new philosophies or creeds occasionally where you do not care to follow him in the hope that he may bring back flowers to garnish your table.
VIII. BLESSED are the married ones who, when allowed to make such a journey, do not get stuck in the mud along the way. No one has any business making such a venture unless he keeps travelling, and is sure to get safely back home. The world is round and if we travel far enough we shall always meet again.
IX. BLESSED are the ones who realize that their wedded state does not cease with the outer symbolism of marriage and who travel either by the same or by different roads, until they find that ultimate and perfect unity which is the UNITY OF THE SPIRIT. Falling into ruts together makes of marriage a monotony; falling into ruts separately makes of marriage a hell. But they who go beyond the half-way stations to the greater unities make of marriage not a monotony but a place of freedom, not a hell but a heaven.
X. FINALLY, MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS: LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not love, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge; and though I have all faith so as to remove mountains, and have not love I am nothing. Love suffereth long and is kind, love envieth not, nor vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” And now in marriage as in all things, abideth faith, hope and love, these three; “but the greatest of these is LOVE.”