Till Death Do Us Part

No. 72 - 25th February 2018

I see that the Uckfield Picture House has been given Planning Permission to use Screen 2 as a wedding venue. I was rather amused by the caption which said that “The lighting already makes a heart shape on the curtains”. Well that clinches it really, doesn’t it? Funnily enough, I don’t suppose it matters very much where you get married. My wife has a cousin who went all the way to Florida to have the ceremony performed under water. I thought that might have put a bit of a dampener on the proceedings, but they thought it went well.

I think for me, what matters most is who you’re making the vows to, and whether you intend to keep them. There’s a programme on television at the moment called “Married at First Sight,” where two people are matched up by a panel of experts and the happy couple meet for the very first time when they get to the altar. Well, not the altar because it’s a civil ceremony. But they still make promises to each other “till death do us part”. Do they mean it? I don’t know. The programme gives them six weeks to decide whether they’re going to stay together or not. Well, for a start, that’s no way to begin a marriage. You can’t go into a relationship keeping all the exits open. That almost guarantees failure. All I know is that most of the couples on the programme are now divorced. So much for promises.

The whole idea of marriage is to create a stable framework from which we can go out to face the world. A safe place to return to when life gets tough. Somewhere that children can grow up and develop into mature, stable adults. There are very few of us who begin married life without problems. You can’t bring two different people into such a close relationship without creating sparks. The secret is to recognise it as a natural process and determinedly work through the problems. My wife and I came from very different backgrounds so we brought a lot of different expectations into the marriage. For a long time we struggled to accept each other as we were. But we had made our promises before God, and we knew that for us, divorce was never going to be an option. We would work at it. We’re going to be celebrating our fiftieth wedding anniversary this year, and it gets better and better. Commitment of any sort can be very hard work. But it really pays dividends. You should try it.

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