On Saturday (10/20) I co-officiated Amy and Ben’s wedding, at Green Pastures in Austin, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:
Sometimes you hear people lament the condition of marriage today. They long for the non-existent good old days, depicted in movies of the Hayes Code era, where everyone married, most married young, and all lived happily ever after. I recently re-watched Ilya Kazan's 1947 movie, "Gentlemen's Agreement". This movie shook American Society to its core in recognizing Anti-Semitism was a real problem. Still, even in this groundbreaking movie, the hero and the heroine are discussing marriage within two scenes, once they sense that their relationship is getting half serious. Do any of us really think this was ever a good or healthy thing? Though hardly any of us do, we as a society still have not fully, excuse the pun, divorced ourselves from this idyllic dream that never was.
This is where the approach of Amy and Ben, shared by many of their peers, may teach us a thing or two. Amy says, "Society has drummed up the notion that the clock is ticking, that you have to start having kids and being single after thirty is just taboo. None of those things matter to me."
So, if we understand that that is true, how do re-conceptualize marriage? Amy tells us, "I want to get married because it feels right, it makes sense and there are no reservations in working to be together with this specific person for the rest of my life." It is in this type of relationship that one can, in her words, feel, "so lucky to have" the other "each and everyday." It is in that type of relationship that, "Life really is better, together."
It is in that type of mature contemplative relationship that Ben can reflect on how well he knows Amy, and state that he wishes to marry her because he knows her to be, in his words, "Selfless, intelligent, motivated, adventurous", one he, loves "Spending time on the couch with... watching a movie with... riding a motorcycle with... and traveling the world with." It is in that type of relationship, where even the Kryptonite of the immature relationship, silence, turns into precious gold, and leads Ben to say how much he treasures a quiet evening with Amy.
Amy and Ben, with a mature and substantial relationship like yours, you are on the path to marital success. May your years together, indeed be long and many.