I went home to a friend's wedding a few weeks ago. It was a great social gathering, and I got to see a lot of familiar faces and eat some amazing food. But the highlight of the event was seeing the couple take their vows and watching their whole universe boil down to that face-to-face moment. Having been in that position not too long ago, I could look on with an understanding grin. I now know how beautiful it is to throw your whole being into a promise, hands shaking and heart relentlessly pounding.
One key to marriage, I think, is to remember the emotion in that fervent pledge and to constantly focus the enormous energy that memory creates into loving that person that stood before you and is now with you every day.
A mentor recently told me this: "You're married to your seminary." He meant that learning how to focus this kind of love on your spouse will help to love God more and teach us how to deal with conflict as Jesus did and still does--with the firmness of a leader and the tenderness of a sincere companion and partner.