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Some thoughts about marriage

Sharing your life with another can be so fulfilling. But what if, wanting to be married, you haven't found the right partner? Looking for that person can become quite a distraction - even futile and discouraging - unless our primary aim is to seek God and His will for us.

Certainly it's as natural and valid to want good companionship as it is to desire an appropriate home or reliable transportation. But perhaps we first need to include a right sense of companionship in the qualities we're living. Qualities such as purity, kindness, patience, and fidelity need to be practiced and nurtured. These are ours to express as the children of God. As such qualities become more real to us - as we live them each day - we'll be discerning our complete and unique spiritual individuality as God's beloved child, and this in turn will be expressed in clear-cut proof of our completeness - in appropriate, satisfying relationships.

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We needn't wait until we're married before we can practice husbandly or wifely qualities. Tenderness, compassion, and unselfish love are desperately needed by the world, and the joy that comes from living these qualities can be ours as we nurture the good in our fellowman.

The fact is that in a very fundamental sense we are already married - to our beloved Father-Mother God. ''Thy Maker is thine husband,'' n1 the Bible says. We need to be always faithful to this marriage, faithful to our unity with God. As God's offspring we can never, in truth, be separated or divorced, unwanted or unloved, for we are eternally living in divine Love. The Bible represents God as saying, ''I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord.'' n2

n1 Isaiah 54:5.

n2 Hosea 2:19, 20.

Sharing my life and love with someone was my desire, yet I had important lessons to learn before this could happen. I had reached the point where I felt the need to expand my affections with permanency, commitment, and stability. Yet I knew that God had to be first in my affections. Christ Jesus instructs us, ''Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.'' n3 I had to seek a greater understanding of God - of His tender, ever-present, unconditional love - with all my heart, with no strings attached!

n3 Matthew 6:33.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says, ''Mortals must gravitate Godward, their affections and aims grow spiritual, - they must near the broader interpretations of being, and gain some proper sense of the infinite, - in order that sin and mortality may be put off.'' n4 There is no greater joy than learning the truth of our spiritual selfhood and unity with God. Nothing and no one could be more satisfying.

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n4 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 265.

In my case I found there was fear and human will to be rid of - the fear of not having what I needed or of making the wrong choice; and then of being hurt if I did make the wrong choice! But I finally learned to really let go of this concern, which would clog my receptivity to God's control and goodness. In prayer the message came very clearly, ''Trust God.'' Trusting Him meant absolutely no worry or fear - just pure, free, childlike trust in His loving care. To trust God completely is truly to love Him.

I humbly thanked God for this precious message and rejoiced in the newfound truth and peace. I knew that no matter what, I must totally trust Him with every aspect of my life, even if I never married! My only goal was the seeking of righteousness for righteousness' sake.

Well, the right marriage partner did come along, and he surpasses all my expectations. God's plan for us is always better than our limited human view of things. ''Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him,'' n5 Christ Jesus taught. And this is true. Isn't our greatest need to gain a clearer view and deeper feeling of God's presence with us all the time? Glorifying and loving God more is our most important purpose in life and will be forever.

n5Matthew 6:8.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE Delight thyself . . . in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalms 37:4

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