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building a marriage

My cousin is in school for an architecture degree, and he's getting married in June. His family shower was hosted this past Saturday (architecture-themed, of course), and his fiancé's grandpa made some sweet comments that I think I'll try to keep forefront in my mind for quite a while.


He said that he read in a New York Times article that good architectural design is found at the intersection of three elements: safety, utility, and beauty. And he added that those same three things apply to the design and construction of a good marriage also.


It is so true that when any single one of those purposes is dropped or misused, the whole concept begins to crumble. In the absence of safety, the two people in the relationship tend to feel used, and to seek outside of the relationship to have needs met that should be met within the context of the relationship. In the absence of utility, the relationship becomes absorbed in itself, seeking only to build it's own happiness and not for the marriage to be used to serve those outside of itself. And in the absence of beauty, the relationship becomes incredibly dull and lifeless, utilitarian and cold, and fails to be a light in a dark world.


And so I'm asking myself this week, as we continue to work through a big job transition for Grant and learn again how to work together in this stage of life -- are we paying attention to all three components?






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