What's Inside "More Than Marriage"?

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Defining Love

Everyone’s greatest desire in life is to love and be loved. You don’t have to think about it to know this is true. It’s a natural and universal longing. But knowing what you want, by itself, is not enough to accomplish your goals when it comes to love.

All kinds of love exist in the world today but that doesn’t mean they are all good or true. We know this because some love relationships can end up hurting, degrading or limiting you. These and other negative outcomes are not part of the original love that your mind and heart desire. Instead, people find themselves in relationships that don’t bring out the best in themselves or their partner. However, we intuitively know we deserve a deeper, richer love.

Our highest ideals originate in God; the author of love. It is interesting that the love that we all long for, regardless of our cultural background or up-bringing, reflects God’s nature and heart, which is unchanging, absolute, eternal and unique.

Defining Love

Everyone’s greatest desire in life is to love and be loved. You don’t have to think about it to know this is true. It’s a natural and universal longing. But knowing what you want, by itself, is not enough to accomplish your goals when it comes to love.

All kinds of love exist in the world today but that doesn’t mean they are all good or true. We know this because some love relationships can end up hurting, degrading or limiting you. These and other negative outcomes are not part of the original love that your mind and heart desire. Instead, people find themselves in relationships that don’t bring out the best in themselves or their partner. However, we intuitively know we deserve a deeper, richer love.

Our highest ideals originate in God; the author of love. It is interesting that the love that we all long for, regardless of our cultural background or up-bringing, reflects God’s nature and heart, which is unchanging, absolute, eternal and unique.

The Goal of Love

Being able to define the love between a man and a woman as unchanging, absolute, eternal and unique allows us to reflect on our experiences of love and know when it was, or is, true. This definition or blueprint also establishes a goal for love. We may not be experiencing love in all of these aspects completely right now, but this gives us a plan on which to build real love because we understand its four essential component parts.

Our greatest desire is for love that is:

    Unchanging – Every human being longs to find a love that lasts forever. We want a relationship that offers unconditional love – a love that doesn’t change with the seasons or dry up when it meets difficulty. Love as God intended was created to last by developing an unchanging commitment.
    Unique – Why do people marry? It is because we unconsciously long to experience the fullness of real love and reflect God’s heart of love, which incorporates both masculine and feminine qualities. A man or woman individually has the potential to reflect one of these aspects of divinity, either masculinity or femininity, in their own unique way. As we grow through the teen years and into our twenties, we are irresistibly drawn to a complementary partner because when we come together as one, our unique self, bonds with the other’s unique self, and together we can experience the fullness of God’s image and love. A marriage between a man and a woman is the unique and irreplaceable starting point for the limitless expression of God’s ideal of love. Every couple is unique and infinitely valuable. Your couple matters to God!

Is Real Love Possible

Living in a society surrounded by broken relationships and divorce, people often ask themselves if it is even possible for love to last forever. Rev. Sun Myung Moon responded to this question by saying,

“If your heart never gets old, your love will never grow old either. Your life will never be boring and your lineage will endure forever. true love never grows old.”

It really is possible for love to last forever. It’s knowing how to grow our hearts that makes the difference.

The problem with broken love is not a new one. History is full of tragic stories of corrupted love. If you decide to pursue the ideal of love, it helps to understand why love can go wrong and, more importantly, how to help it go right. To fully comprehend difficulty, you have to get to the root or origin of a particular problem. When you trace problems in families you inevitably go back in time and uncover lineal threads that hold secrets and unhealthy patterns of behavior.

More Than a Memory

All cultures have myths about alienation from God or the ideal: an original fall from grace. The pioneering psychologist Carl Jung pointed out common symbols that arise from humankind’s “collective unconscious.” He believed there is a deep knowledge that is common to all cultures and peoples.

Jung thought we could learn about the collective unconscious by studying the religious and spiritual practices of the world. Through these we can discover what has become a latent memory and uncover the origins of our relational problems.

In his book, Memories and Visions, anthropologist Richard Heinberg said the same:

“People in every culture and age have insisted that evil has a specific cause… that human nature is not natural at all, because it has been distorted by some fundamental mistake or failure that has been perpetuated from generation to generation.”

The field of epigenetics, and particularly behavioral epigenetics, supports the idea that experiences, not just DNA, are handed down generation to generation. Research clearly identifies how the experiences of our ancestors leave their mark on us, even after the experiences themselves have been forgotten.

Stepping Forward

The Marriage Blessing offers several concrete steps you can take to link your couple to God in spirit and substance. To really take advantage of a step forward you first need to let go, so that you are not dragged back into the place where you came from. Nelson Mandela clearly understood this:

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

The Marriage Blessing as an instrument of healing and a means to establish a healthy and even sacred model for love. The Blessing ceremony invokes God’s Blessing on our relationships so that we can be rooted in our original nature – the part of us that is pure and good and true, and from that place create a love that reflects our highest values.

The family is God’s first and only institution. the family is infinitely precious because it is a little world created by love.

Love That Becomes Greater

Whatever your experience with love, there is a greater love yet to come. That is the amazing thing about love. It is limitless. I can testify to this. I was Blessed in marriage with my husband, Phil, in 1982. I speak from experience that is both personal and shared with hundreds of couples whom I know, and hundreds of thousands more from all nations, races and religions around the world. Wherever we go, we are one family.

Love, like God, is invisible, which means it can reach into any heart, anywhere, at any time. God doesn’t want you to settle for second best. He wants you to reach for the greatest love: love that is unchanging, absolute, eternal and unique.

Make true love your own

“What color is true love? the central colors of true love are harmony and unity; surrounding them are peace and happiness. An atomic weapon has no power other than to destroy life. It is not a symbol of creation but of judgment and ruin. True love, by contrast, has the power of resurrection that can bring one who has died back to life. So the power to bind the world together and bring unity does not reside in the military mindset that lies behind nuclear weapons, but in true love. Each nation has its cultural background and political boundary, and true love is the only power capable of transcending these. The difficult problems humanity faces can be solved only through the perfection of true love.

You must seek after true love. You must make true love your own. You must witness the perfection of true love within your own life. Please never forget that you are to spend the remainder of your life on earth nurturing this seed so that it will blossom and bear fruit.”

– Sun Myung Moon

About the Author

Heather Thalheimer

Heather Thalheimer lives and works in New Hampshire, USA. She and her husband, Phil, have three adult children, and a growing extended family.

Heather Thalheimer graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Bachelors in Nursing and did post graduate work at the London School of Economics. While invested in her career as Executive Director of a New Hampshire statewide non-profit, Heather co-founded Camp Aurora in 1992. Camp Aurora continues to serve children 4th through 12th grade.

Ms. Thalheimer served as the National Director of Education for FFWPU USA from 2009-2012, during that time she led the development of the Journey Curriculum and co-wrote "I’ll Walk With You", a guide to spiritual mentoring. She has developed numerous parenting support and education materials and has taught child development and parenting workshops at national and international conferences.

Heather co-founded Faith Fusion: www.nhfaithfusion.com in 2013. Faith Fusion offers on-line inspiration and education to individuals and communities around the world.

Phil & Heather Thalheimer were Blessed in marriage in 1982. Phil enjoys the outdoors and is a mountain guide. Heather works in the field of non-profit development. In all their endeavors they are committed to building a more peaceful world.

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