Monday, May 6, 2013

More Than Just a Romantic Connection

Yesterday, Sunday 5/5, I officiated Nicole and Ronnie's wedding at Ronnie's parents' home in Lubbock, Texas. Here are the personal remarks I shared with them and their guests:

I was thinking about the deep love Nicole and Ronnie have, and I could not help but think of the very first love story at the beginning of the Hebrew Scriptures.

The ancient authors of the Bible were as fascinated, as many of us still are, with the idea of love and marriage. How can two people, each distinct, each different, come together as one in a lasting union?

They embedded an explanation in the often misunderstood second creation story. You may have heard how God put Adam (the man) to sleep, and took his... rib, right? Then he built it up to be the woman. There is only one problem. That is not what it says. Not at all.

The text actually says that God created them, and called THEM Adam. The ancient rabbis explain that this was an androgynous being with two sides. Then he put this being to sleep, and took one side off, essentially separating the two sides, one being man and one being woman.

What are the rabbis and in turn the biblical authors saying here? What they are telling us is that in true love with a marital partner, we are not forming an artificial construct, bringing two separate beings together. It is as if we are returning to our original primordial state. We feel so at one with the person we love, that is as if we are reuniting with someone that was always part of us. Does that not sound like Nicole and Ronnie?

The beauty of Nicole and Ronnie's relationship is that it clarifies that finding that other half is not about looking for someone with the same superficial characteristics and background. Not at all. It is about finding the person who is your other half in terms of their values, their character, and their personal qualities. It is about finding the person, who in Nicole's words, is "more than just a romantic connection or a comfortable companion," the person who makes her feel "supported, encouraged, celebrated and loved." It is about finding the person who is in Ronnie's words, "the kindest and most supportive person (he) know(s)."

Nicole and Ronnie, may you continue to enjoy such a deep friendship, abiding love, and true partnership for many many years to come.

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