Principles for a harmonious marriage
By Radhanatha Swami
Across all religions there is a universal concept that when a man and woman marry with proper attitude they become one body. They don’t merge into each other’s existence, but it means that they start living for a common purpose – to serve God together.
They share the same goal at many levels. First – I will do anything to protect you and you will do anything to protect me; this is oneness. We are there for each other and whatever the difficulties we may face, we will be faithful to each other, till death separates us. It means to give up one’s false ego for the sake of the other. It’s a two way street. So this faithfulness, this devotion to each other is the common principle of marriage.
Secondly, we will tolerate any differences between us for the sake of giving the children the best possible upbringing. I may be angry as fire on you and you may be totally disgusted with me, but if the children are there, we will not express our anger. If they see their parents don’t like each other it will affect their consciousness negatively. They will feel insecure and suffer internally. They may not understand intellectually what that suffering is, but it’s going to go deep within their psyche, and it will mold their consciousness for the rest of their lives. Even when they grow to the age of their parents, they will have certain insecurities, within their consciousness because of how their parents behaved. Whether it’s a fight or a cold war, children can feel the vibrations and its affects them within. So in a marriage we have to give up our egos and our preferences because we share one principle – the welfare of our children. And all this becomes transcendental when it is done in the service of God. Because the children are God’s children and our bodies are God’s bodies so we should not misuse them. Marriage is a divine relationship because we are responsible to God on behalf of each other. This is oneness.
Srila Prabhupada explains that when a husband and wife live together congenially with austerities and with God as the center of their lives – with service to God, service to their children, service to the society, and service to each other in connection to devotion to God; God lives in that house, not figuratively but in a very real sense. Between the husband and wife one person is sufficient to execute devotional service because both of them will enjoy the results because of their good relationship. Therefore, if the wife is unable to execute devotional service, the husband should carefully do so and the faithful wife will share the result, or vice versa. The relationship between husband and wife is firmly established when the wife is faithful and the husband is sincere. Then there is oneness because they are sharing their lives with a sense of responsibility. Whatever one person is doing the other is getting the spiritual credit for it.
In a marriage God works through your partner to give you what you lack. And if both parties are sincere, dedicated and understand the above mentioned principle then they will help each other to go back to the kingdom of God, keeping God in the center of their lives.