Relationships and Spirituality: Conclusion
- Dr. Neil Clark Warren for the eHarmony Research Library
- 2003 23 Jun
How and why does the agreement on spirituality between two people play such a vital role in their partnership?
Perhaps the most central part of our personality is that part which we refer to as spiritual. When we have blending and harmony between two people in the spiritual area, we become woven together at our deepest levels. I'm convinced that two people who are spiritually alive and vital and who use that spiritual vitality in relation to the other person ultimately end up with a great marriage. When we fail to have spirituality in common, so much about us fails to bond.
So far in this series we've hit upon these concepts:
The Essential Internal Nature of Spirituality
Spiritual Health = Emotional Health
The God of Love is at the Center of Healthy Spirituality
In our final installment, I'd like to address how your spiritual commitment can help you be a better and more loving partner.
A Spiritual Approach Addresses the Deep and Profound Answers of Life
Life is filled with crisis. You know that and I know that. When you're driving on the freeway, the expressway, whatever it is you call the place where people drive fast in your area, you're only one decision away from catastrophe. More than that, all of us live with the possibility that death is going to strike us at any given moment. Death--something that you're going to have to deal with in relation to the most precious people in your life and something you're going to have to live with yourself--could happen at any time.
The spiritual approach that you end up taking needs to include deep and profound answers to these vexing and demanding issues. If your spiritual approach is healthy you will begin to develop what I call a time and eternity perspective. You will recognize that our time on this earth is just an eye blink in terms of all the time that you will exist throughout eternity. When you begin getting a kind of a perspective on all of life, these crisis moments along the way will be understood in a totally different fashion.
For instance, take pain. What we know in retrospect is that pain is almost always a great teacher. It allows us to begin thinking more deeply and precisely and well about the issues of our life. In the moment, however, pain is a major problem for us. If you've got a toothache or a toe ache you're primarily focused on what you can do to get rid of it. In the moment, crises and various kinds of chaos call our attention to the ways in which we can terminate them, but over time, as you look at them if your perspective is broad enough, you can begin to see that, whatever that pain or chaos or crisis was, it almost always eventuated in a deeper and more profound understanding of the meaning of life.
Think of a couple without spirituality or, worse yet in a way, think of a couple in which one is spiritual and the other finds no meaning there.
On Sunday, he gets up and wants to practice his faith. He wants to go to church or wherever else that he goes to worship. She doesn't want to because spirituality is not important for her and he has that lonely feeling of going off by himself.
Think about that same couple. A crisis comes along and he wants to pray. She wants to work it out in a more rational way in terms of action. The two of them don't have any blending, any harmony, in how they're going to relate to the crisis. Think about that couple. They're looking at the death of their parents or the death of a child or their own deaths. He has that time and eternity dimension and she has only a time dimension. He tries to talk about his time and eternity dimension and it makes no sense to her. It frustrates her.
Bottom line: the agreement on spirituality between two people plays a vital role in their partnership. You have that spiritual dimension, but this other person you think of as missing so much in life does not. We sometimes refer to that other person as lost. They simply don't know this wonderful internal experience that we regularly have of full personhood and unending identity. You simply need to make sure that spirituality between you and anyone you want to spend the rest of your life with is such that you have that in common.
If you have it in common, do everything in your power to celebrate it every chance you get. It's a wonderful thing. I tell you from personal experience. It can mean everything in your marriage. I sure hope you find someone that you can love for a lifetime with whom you feel tremendous spiritual harmony.
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