As a ministerial student I get to create ceremonies! In a wedding there is a section when the officiant addresses the couple. It's called the charge, homily, or address. I've written one based on the works of two awesome people:
1. Daphne Rose Kingma's The Future of Love, and
2. Marshall B. Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication.
Not only is this wedding charge great for brides and grooms, it is also fantastic for any of us in a relationship romantic or not, which would be...um...all of us! Check it out:
_________________________ and _________________________, today you embark on the journey of marriage. As a journey of love, marriage is a journey of the soul. You see, marriage is a profound spiritual gift. The soul within each of you has chosen the other for reasons we have yet to discover; however, we do know that each one of us is always brought the experience of love that our soul needs.
As a function of the soul, the challenges and crises that arise within your marriage are always an opportunity for spiritual expansion. The soul is always asking you to expand your capacity for love, acceptance, compassion, and trust. Today, I’d like to share with you some ways you can rise to the call of love and extend your hearts to one another thereby strengthening your marriage.
One very distinct call for love is irritation! We already know that your partner brings you immense joy and happiness. However, your partner could very well be the one who irritates you the most in life. Why is this so? Because your partner is the one who reflects you back to yourself more than any other. What I ask you to consider is that the cause of your irritation isn’t actually your partner. The cause is your own thinking. You see, there are events that happen (or don’t happen), words that are said (or not said), and then there are the stories you make up about them. This isn’t just you two. We all do this. However, the ability to differentiate between what you observe (like the dishes aren’t done) versus what you interpret it to mean (they must not care about me) could be the difference between a conversation and an argument.
Just like irritation is a call for love so too are all the feelings you experience. There are a myriad of feelings that will come up as you take this journey together. Some of them we deem as positive. Others we deem as negative. Now, it’s these negative ones that can really trip us up. But, here’s the secret to all negative feelings: they are simply pointing to an unmet need. So whenever you recognize a negative feeling within yourself or within your partner, the question to be answered is: what am I needing? Or what are you needing?
Exploring your own needs and the needs of your spouse naturally leads to a conversation about what to do next. Here is where the wise couple considers their options. You see, often times we as humans see only one of two extreme options. But, the soul knows the Truth of this Universe as Infinite Possibility. So when you consider your options you are opening yourself to receive creative, clever, and mind-blowing ideas!
Using this process of discerning your interpretations, identifying your feelings, exploring your needs, and considering your options enables you to turn every challenge into an experience that deepens your love and respect for one another as well as yourself. Your union and the love you share absolutely can heal old wounds, bring out your best, and instill confidence, which empowers you to fulfill your soul’s purpose.
And so, knowing the true experience of marriage is a continually unfolding spiritual journey, I ask you to state your intentions...
You are welcome to use this charge in your own wedding or weddings you officiate. You might want to edit it to fit your own style and voice.
You are also welcome to share this message with your loved ones. Use it to explore your own relationship and challenges. How does it apply to your unique situation?
Contact me to talk about officiating your wedding.