Importance of Marriage and Family

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The institution of marriage is very important to mankind, it is the civilised order for a male and a female that makes them different from other living species.          

The Creation

Humans are the unique creatures on planet Earth, a world habited with many complex living beings coexisting to sustain one another. Though we have bridged the gender gap and shed our discrimination against women, I wonder about the physical, mental, and physiological differences between a man and a woman. Medical sciences are still researching and finding inferences for the human anatomy, a spiritual concept that can be defined only by the Creator?

Compare the magic of the universe, the many creatures, plants, animals, birds, fishes, and all living organisms, that were made to cohabit with mates of either sex. This confirms that nature works in precision to maintain the eco-system, a complex project interpreted with our research theories. We are still searching for explanations for every marvel of this living planet and its composition of elements and yet fail to understand the wisdom of this creation which to us is an abstract thought.  

In the beginning

We know that any species must multiply and coexist in their environment, the existence supported by provisions available on Mother Earth. We need to believe that man and woman were conceived as a spiritual creation and their relationships are connected by this powerful union. For those who are not convinced, let us question their idea about the extent of the universe, which we are aware is an assumption theory that keeps changing. Even with the latest technology, we only have a theoretical evaluation of outer space. Scientific research is continuously exploring this dimension but does not accept the spiritual power that controls the universe. We are witnesses to the creation in our everyday life but in doubt of the Creator who we know for sure is the confident administrator. On the contrary, we believe and accept the presence of gases in the atmosphere, though invisible, especially the percentage of Oxygen, the vital life support for human life. Since everything works in unison, we seldom think about the discipline of the whole universe comprising millions of celestial objects and how precisely the Earth revolves and rotates around the Sun. This is the unseen power that we need to accept as the Spiritual Power, the power of Almighty God.

Unlike any other living being, we have to accept that man and woman were created to the ideals of God. That human were the superior being, given absolute freedom to exercise power over many things and independently control their desires, this acceptance becomes vital for man and woman to be spiritually united.

Marriage, the Spiritual Union

I believe that the sanctity and spirituality of marriage are mainly linked to the fact that it is a Holy union, a power of the Almighty, and this bond becomes necessary for many reasons for which the man and the woman were created.

The Holy Scriptures mention that tribes evolved in every land after some time, documentary evidence has confirmed this fact with the different types of human genes that are found in different continents and countries. This confirms the theory that unions were more within the tribe until they found ways to connect with others with the development in transportation. These unions justify the rituals and customs followed for a very long time and varied with each religion, culture, and nationality. Such rituals were primarily scripted to sanctify the union of a man and woman that was so required for maintaining the population of the tribe, to give necessary strength in binding them in body and spirit, and to hold the individuals responsible, respectful and truthful to one another.

Like centuries ago, even today there is a very large majority of the population who believes in the rituals for marriage, and hence weddings have become one of the most important events in the life of a man and woman. Those who don’t have faith in the spiritual union will register their marriage according to the government rule which becomes the officially documented proof.

A Sacred Union

Marriage is defined as two minds united in spirit into one body. This is the theme desired by all faiths and sanctified by holy orders. Marriage is built on connecting every aspect of human relationship which includes love, trust, respect, intimacy, sharing, and overall a commitment to life.        

Love is a factor and can be spontaneous but it must be understood in true faith and not due to childish infatuation. Material benefits can complement love but true love means that they accept one another like the wedding vows: ‘for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until parted by death.’

Trusting one another is a true commitment and it must never be breached. Trust goes along with sharing every event of their life and accepting opinions.

Respecting one another is giving the space necessary by understanding their responsibility and requirements. No Job, education, position, or work is superior, and complimenting each other irrespectively is acceptance. 

Intimacy is what is required by either partner to consummate the union and it is with consensus. It is personal and private as this is not ‘thumps up’. Sometimes we find it odd to see couples displaying intimate moments for public viewing, intentionally wishing for more ‘likes’. Many celebrities share their private images for viral viewing, such cannot be compared.   

Sharing means everything and it gives absolute transparency to the relationship. Partners must have no secrets that lead to misunderstanding but an open mind to share, consult and counsel.

Children are the product of real love within the union of marriage which ensures the continuity of the human race and the generations. When a child is born, it is the consummation of marriage as a ‘family’ is born and is a responsible commitment for life.

Finally, a good marriage stands witness to the children as it displays the sacrifices and sharing of the parents who have committed themselves for a lifetime. I feel that if there is true love, the strength of the bond grows with age, every day becomes special and every occasion becomes memorable as their honeymoon.

Challenge within Marriage 

Unlike in the past, today we have many challenges to the union of marriage. One of the requirements that become necessary is that the man and woman must be fully matured to face the modern challenges. The times have gone past when marriages were consumed at the adolescent age but today new rules are in place to prevent child marriages which incidentally was a bad practice.

The prospective bride and groom must undergo a pre-marital refresher course before their wedding, this providentially is a very good practice. This counseling session will update them on the challenges and make them aware of problems faced within a marriage. It will serve to develop qualities that are important in fulfilling a successful marriage as they are guided to understand the vows and the responsibility within the marriage. Careers, ambitions, and opportunities are factors that are directly linked to wealth generation and the priority given to them will have an impact on the quality of married life.

They say ” beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”, Love marriages happen when two adults accept that they are ‘special and made for each other’. If they start their relationship in trust and true faith then it becomes successful. Whereas many people make their lives miserable by accepting marriage to be a solution, this often becomes a marriage of convenience which might not stand the test of time. Assisted marriages happen when two families accept the alliance for their children, sometimes a suggested alliance in an arranged marriage would naturally mature and become a role model relationship. All these cases become successful when families interact and give their children enough space and time to understand each other. In cases when individuals get connected through social media, they must meet in person before consenting. I feel that there should be an element of truth and transparency in any proposal and either family must be willing to share all details. Many marriages happen with two partners from two different backgrounds, they can be classified as Interfaith, Intercaste, Intermarriage, Physically challenged, etc., and these might require major adjustments which can be totally challenging to their decision-making. 

No marriage is without problems but here the couples must never forget the vows. Often we find a united family becoming guardian angels and help in guiding and advising the couple. The parents, the siblings, the relatives, and friends can be these guiding spirits while many can also become the catalyst for creating issues, for which the solution rests with the couple to act rationally. 

Patience – A Key factor

It is the wise man’s proverb that wisdom is gained only by the accumulation of knowledge with sincere co-relation of everything around us. Similarly, time is a factor in our life that when utilized can result in mature thoughts.

Wisdom and maturity cannot be achieved with a shortcut. It is like thinking that we can get timber out of a teak tree in a few years, it might grow in girth but the wood will mature to give a good textured timber only after many years. Developing patience is important to both partners for a successful marriage because it helps us to respect, trust and share in accepting a person. Hence it is necessary to practice patience when choosing life partners. Once the mind accepts a true relationship with full faith, the relationship will incrementally grow in the spirit of approval. A wise person will never make any decisions under any compulsion but wait for the right time. The groom and bride must have enough time to understand each other and their families and not compromise on external influences.

Family for Life

An important decision for many parents that comes up for discussion is often the sacrifice of their career that becomes necessary at a point in time, to have a happy and successful family life. We know for certain that this is a chance given to us to think of a lifetime partnership and that there cannot be any experimentation. I feel that an individual must be mature and never refer to life like in a movie but the partners must think that it is a family for life.

Modern lifestyles have promised new mindsets to think more of life as a bundle of happy moments. Sometimes there is equal responsibility for the father and mother to adapt their children to the religious faith, the culture, the food habits, the language, etc., that is followed which becomes their ideology. Children need attention, their questions answered and their interests motivated hence the parents must plan their time to be available. This is real quality time, the happy moments the family shares when they are all gathered together for any occasion. Children from a very young age require personal attention and responsive counseling and the best guides are the parents. When both the parents are working it becomes difficult to manage time, but then this is the most crucial moment for the child to be allotted the highest priority.

Queen Elizabeth was crowned very young and quite unexpected. She faced many challenges in maintaining her marriage along with the duties and protocols of the hierarchy. I like to quote the lines that Queen Elizabeth wrote to her husband Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh before he left for a long tour ‘Always remember you have a family ‘. 

The Planners – Their Responsibility

Each member of the family is an administrator and must be designated to hold responsibility. Every housewife deserves a doctorate award, she becomes a homemaker with multiple roles, a home engineer, cook, banker, marketer, maid, gardener, nurse, planner, resource manager, mentor, guide, and solution finder. Thus she handles a real multitask job position that requires acknowledgment. However, every member also has to contribute to housekeeping and it is a good ritual to improve each one’s responsibility. 

Emphasis on quality time must be the priority for the family to remain in unity. Transparency is the keyword and every family must share time generously. Some key situations can be: to seek advice, make collective decisions, pray, share meals, listen to one another, laugh, and learn family history… every event in the house must be a sharing point.

I believe that there is no perfect situation at a given time but we must find ways to manage our children while giving the best priority to ensure a happy childhood. Parents always remain the best role models, they are the trusted guide and teachers to their children and cannot be compromised.

Certain distractions that can come up and need scrutiny could be television programs, media influences, phone calls, gym, pub, club activities, and many more. If parents regulate their advice and listen, their children will not take undue liberty and remain responsible for their freedom or even indulge in social media. 

Another important factor seems to be the treatment of money, try not to fall victim to it after all happiness is not entirely linked to money. The husband and wife must treat the income as OUR money and so have transparency in all financial dealings. The family must have a financial plan for the family and provisions must be made for higher education. Their financial commitments, investments, their affordable purchases, insurance, pension, and savings for old age must be shared with the children at the required time. I am sure anyone can live very happily provided he cuts his budget to the size of his purse with all the restrictive sacrifices.

No Perfect Solution

When people ask for advice for buying any product, I ask them about their requirements and their usage. It is always an input with which I can recommend the right product. But often many people decide without reviewing or taking expert opinion, this being an emotional justification. In managing to have a happy family life it is important to listen to all voices before a final decision is taken. This will bring more transparency and unity within the family by treating everyone as equals.

One of the major problems in any family happens when the generation change. Property and wealth sharing always cause ugly disputes in many families but one solution that can be done is to plan as early as possible. The parents must announce their decisions when they are healthy, when the family comes together on happy occasions, to discuss and finalise. Delaying this process will result in misunderstandings and complications within the family.

Social media is a great communication space but it is also the breeding ground for many negative thoughts and jealousy. The best way is to start ignoring posts that are not on your wavelength and refrain from any comments, saving your spare time for better needs.

A Happy Family

Nothing is difficult nor easy but if there is pure love within the family, they become one happy lot. The family bond is united with true love from all members. If the parents train their minds to plan their future without any dependency on anyone, it would let them enjoy a healthy life with medical support plans and maybe fulfill their bucket list. I always think that as we grow old we should gradually hand over responsibility but never commit to a financial guarantee, unless in an emergency situation.

If we can build families with a mature outlook, it will help in creating a truthful lovable community. Connecting with families who hold discipline can influence our children, especially witnessing the respect for grandparents, elders, and underprivileged people within the society. The final certificate for the family is to see this screenshot of grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren together in a happy state.

We are indebted to God Almighty for this Life and we are taught to accept every situation to unite ourselves to create happy families.  

Till next time, take care.

Donald DCruz

Bethan Ville,

Kollam- 691001