On love and marriage

My niece has honored me by asking if I’d do a reading at her wedding tomorrow. Then she doubled the honor by selecting 1 Corinthians 13.
No more beautiful or more accurate words on love than those of St. Paul have ever been written.
And I’ve always maintained that the first two comments by Paul, “Love is patient, love is kind,” are actually all you need to know about love.
Everything else he writes is encompassed in those first two. Patience and kindness are all love and marriage need to succeed.
But if I were to add something else, a blessing if you will, or perhaps a toast, it too would come from the New Testament, from the words of Christ.
Much of Christ’s teachings have a paradoxical sound to them. If you want to be first, be willing to be last, for example. Or, if you want to find yourself, be willing to lose yourself.
Inspired by the latter, I would say to my niece and her husband-soon-to-be, may you lose yourself in each other, and in doing so, may you find yourself in ways you never dreamed possible.
I would also add this as a key to a happy marriage: Don’t stop dating each other. Couples fall in love while dating and then all too often get caught up in the trappings of marriage and rarely go on a date again. That’s not good. Ask your sweetheart out on a date, I would suggest, even when you’ve been married for 30 or 40 or 50 years.
Which brings me to my final message on love and marriage. It’s from Robert Browning and it’s profound in its simplicity: Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.

Ed Ackerman