WHAT ABOUT MARRIAGE?



T HE GROOM WAS HANDSOME.

THE BRIDE WAS RADIANT.

A WARM, ALPINE DAY COMPLETED THE PICTURE,

SNOW-COVERED MOUNTAINS DOMINATED THE DISTANCE.

          PINE TREES SURROUNDED THE GUESTS.

          WHEN THE CEREMONY WAS OVER, THE BAND PLAYED

          AND EVERYONE ATE AND DANCED.


THEN A VERY SPECIAL THING HAPPENED.


The new husband looked into the eyes of his new wife.

                              “I trust you,” he said, ”because I know

                                                        that you love God more than you love me.”


* * * * * * * *



S piritual partners know that nothing is more important to them than their own spiritual growth. This is what I believe the young man was saying to his bride. If spiritual partners have to choose between their spiritual growth and what their friends expect, or their families expect, they choose spiritual growth. If they have to choose between what their tribe expects, or their church, they choose spiritual growth.


The new husband knew that his wife would always choose her spiritual growth over everything else, including him. As long as he remains conwnitted to his own spiritual growth they will grow together. That is how spiritual partnership works. Spiritual growth in one partner creates the opportunity for spiritual growth in the other. Then the other has to decide whether to grow or not. Do you remember John and Carol? Carol was the wife who screamed at her husband, “You are not respecting me!” John was her husband. John didn’t know that he wasn’t respecting Carol. In Version I, he thought they were just having a misunder-standing. They were, but he wasn’t willing to look at it from Carol’s point of view Their marriage dissolved.



Carol was growing. She wasn’t willing to live without respect in her marriage. She wasn’t willing to submit to another person’s will, even her husband’s.John wasn’t willing to accept these changes in his wife.


In Version II, John struggled to understand Carol, and their marriage was transformed. This is the special power of a spiritual partnership: What your partner challenges you to do when he or she grows spiritually is exactly what you need to do in order to grow spiritually yourself. How could John create harmony, cooperation, sharing, or reverence while he didn’t respect his wife? He couldn’t. Carol showed him that . She didn’t need to talk about authentic power. All she needed to do was to grow spiritually to “love God more than anything else” and that is what she did.


John needed to change, but not for Carol. He needed to change for himself. Carol showed him his next step. Spiritual partnership accelerates spiritual growth. In fact, the only way to grow spiritually is through spiritual partnerships.


Until you have the courage to enter into relationships of substance and depth, you cannot develop spiritually . It doesn’t matter how long you meditate or pray, or how many intentions you set. Sooner or later you have to apply what you meditated, prayed and intended. That requires other people. When the other people are committed to growing spiritually, too, then you are in a spiritual partnership.


We are all beginning to want spiritual partners, and to create spiritual partnerships. Shallow talk isn’t enough anymore. Making money, raising children, and buying houses aren’t enough. Only spiritual growth satisfies. That is because we are all becoming new females and new males.


Every spiritual partnership is different. Some look like marriages. Others look like businesses . Others look like baseball teams. Spiritual partners decide what their partnerships look like. They also decide what roles they play in them.


Each spiritual partner sees himself as a soul first, and a personality second. Each is committed to growing spiritually. Each knows that the purpose of spiritual partnership is spiritual growth.


When a marriage, a business, or a baseball team becomes a spiritual partnership, there is no limit to the creativity, love, and spiritual growth that it can produce. Its future is limited only by the choices that the partners make.


Marriages, businesses, and baseball teams that don’t become spiritual partnerships don’t have a future.



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