Reflections on Love and Marriage
Being a pastor for so many years, I’ve had the opportunity to marry many couples. It is actually something that I enjoy but it does give you pause to realize that when you enter into marriage, most people have no idea what they are promising. None of us have any idea about what the future will bring as we promise ourselves away to another person.
This weekend will be the last of four weddings I’ve officiated at in the last month. You do more than officiate; you meet with them several times in what I call “enrichment” not therapy. There is the rehearsal along with the wedding itself. Our weekends have been tied up totally this past month.
Recently I did a wedding at The Plaza Hotel in New York City in which we stayed overnight at The New York Athletic Club with a perfect view of Central Park. We woke up to a great day but wanted to find a place where we could have a reasonable breakfast. The Athletic Club offered a $35.00 per person brunch that we thought was more than we needed after a huge wedding the night before. We walked down 59th to Sarah Beth’s – an upscale eatery and found that they had a waiting line of at least a half of an hour for breakfast and that too would have been $35-40. The same story continued as we went to the Hyatt and then mysteriously around the corner on 6th Avenue, there was this dive called “Angela’s Deli” We walked in and were hearing orders being yelled out left and right behind the counter. I saw an empty table and told Kathy to quickly reserve it as I ordered us two omelets, coffee and a bagel, all for under $20.00. As I sat down at the table, to my left was a guy playing with his I Phone with a cigar in his mouth. Down at the other side, were a couple of runners having coffee and then sitting down next to us was an older couple. As I was eating my omelet, this talkative Italian couple asked me what I was doing here. I said that we went to a wedding in Manhattan and he said we are here today because we are married 60 years. I said 60 years, he said yeah, we thought we’d come in today and celebrate it. I said I hope you find a better place than this. I took a look at them and they didn’t look young, but they did look great. I guess marriage agreed with them and they looked like they had lots of energy. They told us that they were from Queens and took the train in for a day in Manhattan. They were so cheerful and happy that they lifted me out of my morning fog and brought a smile to my face.
The couple next to them overheard our conversation and said we’ve been married 15 years – there were smiles all around. Manhattan is a crazy place filled with lots of young, unmarried men and women and I’m sure that the statistics hold true here that more than half of marriages, end in divorce.
I still maintain that when you get married, you need a lot of things, which include patience, understanding, forgiveness, lots of love and a seatbelt because the ride may not always be smooth.
I had finished a counseling session with another young couple just before this wedding. As I always do, I asked them to write a love letter to each other and read it in my office in front of me. They did so but what I noticed was how they ended their letters. One said to the other, remember, “I love you more,” the other responded in his letter, “I love you most.” Well, I guess you can say that it sounds a little corny and that this old minister sometimes cries at weddings, but when it comes to relationships, it’s never 50%; it’s always 100%.
I wasn’t sure as I looked around this place – there was a picture of BB King, some advertisements for Broadway and a beat up menu on the wall but as I finished my coffee, I realized that I might just have had the best omelet of my life.