The Art of Marriage: an unread but saved poem…


Things have been very difficult for my family lately. No, Chris and I are not having marriage problems, but we have had our share of trials in the last few months. I really wish I could write about them, but they are so personal, and I cannot be certain that I am at liberty to even discuss them. I can say this: though the trials have become harder to bear, I am blessed in so many ways. I have the most wonderful children. By raising them I am beginning to understand how God is able to love us unconditionally. I have such a wonderful mate. If Chris were not a part of my life right now, I don’t know what I would do. He has held me in his arms more than once this past week and allowed me to just cry on him. He is my best friend. I have a job that I love and that I’m good at. I have extended family and friends who love me. I  found an awesome church last spring that I’ve been so happy attending. These are all wonderful gifts, and I cannot begin to express my gratitude.

I was cleaning up some computer files and stumbled upon a poem I had contemplated having someone read during our wedding ceremony. But out of respect for Chris, I decided not to. (He is not as “chicken soup” as me, hates wordy, mushy poems, and we were already marching back up the aisle to “Frog Went a’ Courting” because my nickname growing up was Miss Mousie, and my father and grandfather would sing this song to me while they played the guitar and fiddle. I also had tiny ballerina mice and frog prince charms tied around centerpieces as if the marching song wasn’t enough. Need I say more?).

So, as I was opening documents and reading them to determine whether they should be deleted or not, I found this poem, and I couldn’t help but get a little teary eyed. I do not know a lot about Wilferd Peterson, but he definitely seemed to know what a real marriage is all about. And in case you don’t know, dear reader, what the art of marriage is, I encourage you to keep reading on. (I got the idea of addressing you, the reader, from The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. If you haven’t read it, it is an awesome book that I was able to read aloud and bond with my son. Another thing I’m grateful for!)

The Art of Marriage

Wilferd A. Peterson

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.

A good marriage must be created.
In 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 looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience,
understanding and a sense of humour.

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.

It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.

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Published in: on December 5, 2008 at 4:18 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Beautiful picture, and I can’t think of a more poignant look at what marriage truly is! Thanks for sharing! Hang in there!

  2. Wonderful poem. I loved this.


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