"Reverence comes not with perfection but with profound intimacy: the true knowing of ourselves in relation to another and acceptance of all the joys, tedium, pain, sorrows, tenderness, and vulnerability that being deeply connected brings," writes Lois Kellerman, a nationally known leader within Ethical Culture, a 23-chapter organization founded more than a century ago to improve human relationships. In this handy guidebook to marriage, co-written with Nelly Bly, she examines the eight commitments that are at the core of this enriching relationship. They are centering (the home as sanctuary); choosing (wise decision-making); honoring (deep, mutual respect); caring (nurturing each other); abiding (resiliency through life's ups and downs); repairing (mending what's broken); listening (open communication); and celebrating (enjoying your marriage).
There are many helpful tips here that can enhance any marriage, whether new or old. A good first step is to see your home as holy ground and make it so. Kellerman and Bly encourage couples to find and increase the details in their living space that give safety, contentment, and renewal. We like the quotation by Sherlock Holmes who said; "It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important." Be on the lookout for little ways you can spruce up your relationship.
Reverence as a spiritual practice can certainly make all the difference in a relationship as complicated and as changing as marriage. The authors offer the following suggestions for honoring your partner: Prize every feature of your loved one that you find endearing. Find ways of harmonizing the differences between you. Assist each other in healing and growing. Accentuate your mutual memories of good times in the past. Use nature as a means of deeper connection to each other. And, last but not least, "spread the seeds of reverence far and wide."