True Marriage Love
We can learn about the ideal of true marriage love, a spiritual marriage called “conjugial love” in the teachings of the New Church. The idea that marriage is eternal is a key teaching. It is not just for our lifetime but forever.
Readings about Marriage
- “Developing Respect for Marriage” by Peter M. Buss, Jr.
This sermon discusses ways that marriage can help people prepare for heaven.
- “The Ideal Vision of Marriage” by Peter M. Buss, Sr.
Two experiences Swedenborg had showing marriage in heaven.
- An Eternal Perspective by Brian W. Keith
An examination of why having an eternal perspective is important, especially in our marriages.
Ideas for Discussion:
- Marriage is a spiritual joining of two lives into one. It is a process, not something that happens all at once. An ideal heavenly marriage is not achieved without effort.
- The Lord is always leading and preparing us for a happy, eternal marriage.
- It is important to honor the ideal of true marriage love.
- To become a good marriage partner, each of us needs to develop a heart that is spiritually strong and good. This spiritual growth can strengthen our relationship with the Lord and our marriage relationship (whether or not we are currently married).
- Those who marry here on earth should focus on the eternity of their marriage and cooperate with the Lord to make it a happy one.
- Whether or not we are married on this earth, we can prepare ourselves to receive the blessings of true marriage love in heaven.You will not necessarily be married to the person you are married to on earth, but if you look to the Lord you will have a happy marriage in heaven.”
- Keeping the eternal perspective can help us persevere in the face of the challenges. We should not despair over problems in marriage or other relationships. Rather, these present opportunities for us to work on our spiritual growth as we deal with temptations and hardships. In “Developing Respect for Marriage,” Peter Buss, Jr. suggests that marriage is “an intense framework within which two people can practice unselfish love and respect for each other, and so make progress towards heaven.”
Projects and Activities:
- Picture a Married Couple in Heaven
Picture a married couple in heaven, young and happy.
- An Angel Couple in Heaven
Make stick puppets of an angel husband and wife and a picture of a beautiful garden, then talk about angel couples in heaven.
- Two Shall Become One
Married couples in heaven sometimes appear as one angel because they feel so close to each other.
- Look to Eternity
Explore three examples that reflect the instinctive idea that marriage love can last forever in a poem, a painting and a war-time love letter.
- Spiritual Valentine (teens and up)
- Several activities which can help us look to eternity in marriage.
- The Lord Helps Us Have a Loving Heart
It is the Lord who gives us true marriage love and who helps us make our hearts "clean" so make a picture of the Lord in the center of a large paper heart and put gold glitter all around!
- Honoring Marriage
Children can make a picture of their parents or color a picture of a married couple within a golden ring or circle. Talk with the children about a wedding ring as a symbol of eternity - a circle without end.
- Looking to the Lord in Marriage (used in Gift of Marriage)
This project illustrates that if both partners are looking to the Lord, they are also moving closer to each other.
- Valentine Cookies
Make heart-shaped sugar cookies and decorate with cinnamon sugar or frost after they cool.
- Create in Me a Clean Heart
This project can help us think about whether our thoughts and actions are creating a clean heart within us or not. If we are working with the Lord on having a clean heart, it can improve our marriage and our relationship with the Lord as well.
Those who during their lifetime have found happiness in marriage because of genuine conjugial love find happiness again in the next life, so that the happiness experienced by them in one life is continued into that of the other, where it becomes a union of minds, in which is heaven (Arcana Coelestia 2734).
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