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Matches made in heaven

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

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Weddings and marriages supply the stuff dreams are made of, despite the disappointment many face when their marriage falls short of the ideal. A glance at statistics on DivorceMag.com reveals that nearly 46 percent of marriages in the US end in divorce. That low success rate may turn people to matchmaking organizations to help them find suitable mates.

Yet in the end, professional matchmakers don't hold the key to perfect matrimony. They may assess one's heritage, socioeconomic status, even education and interests, but can they possibly appraise an entire individual? Can they begin to understand how two people will grow and develop separately and jointly? Human estimates of prospective unions, however successfully done, limit people from the outset. No one – not even those directly involved – can answer all of the particulars that contribute to success. They can't answer basic questions such as, Why marry? Should I marry? Who am I? Who am I in relation to another? And, What does marriage mean? To find happiness, we each must answer these questions without cultural or family pressures.

This task is easier when one embraces his or her completeness as a child of God rather than leans on another for happiness or to round out one's self. Conversely, unresolved issues regarding identity might lead one to marry for wrong reasons. Not having a clear sense of one's qualities, aspirations, and values can play out in choosing a mate with little regard for those attributes. It does not fulfill Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy's hope that marriage should "improve the human species, becoming a barrier against vice, a protection to woman, strength to man, and a centre for the affections" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 60).

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