Friday, July 06, 2007

The Magnificent Seven: Does it make for a better Marriage?

The Magnificent Seven: Does it make for a better Marriage?

Seven is the atomic number of nitrogen, the number of spots on a ladybug and we know that most mammals have seven bones in their necks. We love seven.

Seven is the international direct dial for Russia. There are the Seven Hills of Rome, seven liberal arts and Seven Wonders of the world. A lot of folks are getting married on July 7th too.

God rested on the seventh day, Jubilee comes after seven times seven years, a Jewish bride and groom are feted with seven days of festive meals after their wedding (Sheva Berachot).

There are seven virtues – Chastity, Moderation, Liberality, Charity, Meekness, Zeal, and Humility. And these correspond to the Seven Deadly Sins.

Seven is the number of notes in the Western Major Scale. So, why don’t more people have seven children?

And look at this: the ‘number’ for women is four (4) and the ‘number’ for men is three (3). Seven represents the union of men and women. And, we are interested in union. It is also true that many marriages begin to break down at the 5 – 7 year point.

And, so we come to July 7, 2007 or 07/07/07 – men and women around the world will join together in holy matrimony on that magnificent day.

What do you think? Do they do this because it will be easy to remember their anniversary date (anything that can help guys remember is a plus). Or do many of us long to memorialize our joining in a way that reminds us of just how special this wedding is?

We live in a time of increasing consciousness about what the wedding is really about, what it should cost, where it should take place. Many couples are less worried about tradition (translate to ‘mother’s opinions’), show and pomp, and are more focused on affordability (as it relates to overall financial health), scale (do we really need to invite everyone we’ve ever met?), and meaning as they find it in their present lives.

We may be getting ready to take marriage itself more seriously – take a look at the recently published With These Rings, Volume I. After all, it is common for couples getting married to come from divorced parents. They will intimately know the pain and displacement that divorce offers children. Perhaps their own marriage will be created will more caution, more thought, and more counsel than that of their parents.

Seven also carries the idea of bringing spirituality and Godliness into the creation – in this case, into the marriage.

We know deep longing for connection to one another, connection that transcends and undergirds physical intimacy. Marrying we marry our hopes and expectations as we see them in relationship to another. Our lover embodies our deepest needs – or so we imagine it to be – and for awhile at least, they may manifest an understanding of those needs. We believe in our partners in ways that they themselves never imagined.

Marriage is widely known to be a challenge after three or four years because the magical effects of newness, hormones and just plain busyness begins to wear thin.

A deep spiritual connection could sustain our love even as a well understood philosophy of commitment would inform our conversations. As we discover ‘who’ it is that we married, and as we slowly withdraw the ideals we put on them – we are invited to discover this stranger who we barely knew but whom we wisely chose.

Marriage is about companionship to be sure. It is also about learning to relate intelligently. Perhaps at a deeper level marriage is about discovering our own capacity to love.

Reported in the L.A.Times this morning, a young man talked exuberantly to a reporter about his coming marriage which would take place at 7am on 07/07/07. He said something like “we can’t miss. This love will last forever.” We all like magic. Perhaps believing in the alignment of sevens will take you where you are wanting to go. For my part, I see continual transformation of your loving as the deepest magic possible.

Stephen W. Frueh M.Div, PhD is a leadership consultant, couples’ coach, mentor, writer and speaker. He is a professional member of the National Speaker’s Association. He lives with his wife and nine year old daughter in Ventura County, California.

He can be contacted at:
805 527 2600

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