Like most brides-to-be, her nervousness showed as she spoke of her wedding that was less than a week away. It was so refreshing to hear what was important to her was not only the details concerning her wedding day but also her focus for the days and the years that would follow.
As she spoke about her concern with the new home that she would soon share with her husband, it seemed to me that she was hungry for some kind of validation. Her words flowed out so quickly that I almost missed the important message they carried with them. “I’m not worried about the rest of the house right now but I do want our bedroom to be newly painted and fresh before I move in. That’s what is important to me.”
I responded that in marriage counseling sessions I make it a point to ask the couple what their personal bedroom “looks like” and what it is like to spend one third of their life together in this space. “Is it a peaceful place for both of you? Can you rest and feel connected to one another? ” are some of the questions we explore.
She let out a deep sigh as I validated that she is wise to consider this room above the others in the house and her desire to make it “holy.” We talked about the need to keep the outside world out! No TVs, clutter of work papers or computers! A sacred, holy space that would help her and her husband to connect to one another in a way that would refresh their bodies, calm their minds and nourish their souls. A place where they honor their love as God intended for a husband and wife in connection with Him. This young woman instinctively knew the value of sacred spaces in marriage, beginning with the space that belonged only to the two of them.
A week later at their wedding, I smiled when I heard our Priest pray over them, “O Lord our God, Who in Your saving Providence did promise in Cana of Galilee to declare marriage honorable by Your presence, do You Yourself preserve in peace and oneness of mind these Your servants—and— , whom You are well pleased should be joined to one another. Declare their marriage honorable. Preserve their bed undefiled. Grant that their life together be without spot of sin. And assure that they may be worthy to attain unto a ripe old age, keeping Your commandments in a pure heart for you are our God…”