Friday, 9 September 2016

It's all about the Preparation

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Recently I was talking with a friend who mentioned that it is not proper to marry before you actually know where you are heading in your life. That actually  reminded me of something I read before about marriage in a Bahai context. You may not be Bahai ... but I trust the Word of God works whether from your religion or not.
The first step to choosing a life partner is becoming fully aware of who you are.

"The first Taraz and the first effulgence which hath dawned from the horizon of the Mother Book is that man should know his own self and recognize that which leadeth unto loftiness or lowliness, glory or abasement, wealth or poverty"-Baha’u’llah

Why is it so important to know one's own self?
1. Knowing yourself lets you know what you want and thus, what you are looking for.
2. People who do not know themselves tend to project their issues on their partner and blame him/her for stuff that is actually their own fault.
3. When you know yourself, you can clearly express your feelings and wants to your partner in a way that he/she would understand.
4. Knowing yourself also enables you set boundaries and be able to respect the other person's boundaries. 

Some questions you should be able to answer when you figure yourself out are :
  1. What do the people I have felt attracted to have in common?
  2. What was good for me and what was bad for me? (e.g. in former relationships or friendships)
  3. What specific influence has the marriage of my parents had on my attitude towards marriage?
  4. How do I feel about becoming a father or a mother?
  5. Am I ready for marriage

Secondly, it is of utmost importance to become thoroughly acquainted with the character of the other person. This is no small feat... but if you fully acknowledge who you are, honestly you have a better chance of studying another person's character.

The key here however is to follow the recommended order of things. Unlike what prevails today, relationships between human beings are first of all spiritual... a coming together of souls. It is absolutely necessary to bond with a person spiritually, emotionally and psychologically before physical bonding. The latter tends to overwhelm us and make us feel a deep connection but we forget that that is just physical, it will fade with the passing of time. Spiritual bonds however can last as long as the soul lasts and that is why it is said couples who love God before they love each other can last till the end of time.

"…man is, in reality, a spiritual being, and only when he lives in the spirit is he truly happy."

Next, it is important to agree on the logistics, where do we live, how do we raise the kids, the finances... Yes, talk about all this BEFORE the marriage.

And not to sound superstitious... listen to your parents! Yes! They need to give their blessings.
"Honor your father and your mother" was not just for show.... Apart from the fact that they have been married longer than you, LOL , they are more objective judges of character and see things you would not see. They may be wrong but they are mostly right.

(All quotations are taken from the Baha'i Holy Writings)

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