LOVE AND MARRIAGE ... journeying to the heart of who we are

What is it that makes for a healthy, loving marriage? What is it that makes for a good life? As I look back on my own life—the years lived as a single woman, the years spent married—there's common theme to what I have found to bring true happiness and peace. Overall, it has had nothing to do with the circumstances I've been in, but everything to do with my relationship to God, with my willingness to grow closer to Him—to grow spiritually.

At the heart of relationships, especially marriage, is the idea of being one with someone, feeling connected, belonging. What I have learned is that the source of this oneness is in God, and that when we base our relationships on this fundamental, spiritual relation we have with Him, we not only discover that we are complete individuals, but we feel progressively connected to everyone around us, and to the world at large. Viewed in this way, my "marriage" actually began a long time before I met my husband.

Most significant, it started in a rocky, red-earthed village in Botswana, where I was a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English. I had been there nearly a year and was struggling with loneliness. One day, a man whom I'd met in training unexpectedly came for a visit. We shared two incredibly joyful days. And then he left. I almost wished he hadn't come because his absence left me with a feeling of extreme emptiness.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Do you have to be married to be happy?
May 24, 2004

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.