Other Readings and Poems

Unconditional Love

By Father John Powell

True love is and must always be, a free gift with no conditions attached.

The essential message of unconditional love is one of liberation.

You can be whoever you are, express all your thoughts and feelings with absolute confidence.

You do not have to be fearful that love will be taken away.

You will not be punished for your openness or honesty.

There is no admission price to love, no rental fees or installment payments to be made.

There may be days when disagreements and disturbing emotionans may come between you.

There may be times when thoughts or physical miles may lie between you.

But you have given each other the word of your commitment.

You have set your life on a new course.

You should not go back on your word to each other.

So feel free to be yourselves.

One thing we all know and should share with each other...we are committed to each others growth and happiness.

Above all else, never take each other for granted and always love each other, because true love is unconditional.

The Art of Marriage

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the Art of Marriage: The little things are the big ones. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding room for the things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

And what of marriage?

A poem by Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran

To the question: 'And what of marriage?'

He says: 'You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone. Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.'

Foundations of Marriage

by Regina Hill

Love, trust, and forgiveness are the foundations of marriage. In marriage, many days will bring happiness, while other days may be sad. But together, two hearts can overcome everything... In marriage, all of the moments won't be exciting or romantic, and sometimes worries and anxiety will be overwhelming. But together, two hearts that accept will find comfort together.

Recollections of past joys, pains, and shared feelings will be the glue that holds everything together during even the worst and most insecure moments. Reaching out to each other as a friend, and becoming the confidant and companion that the other one needs, is the true magic and beauty of any two people together. It's inspiring in each other a dream or a feeling, and having faith in each other and not giving up... even when all the odds say to quit.

It's allowing each other to be vulnerable, to be himself or herself, even when the opinions or thoughts aren't in total agreement or exactly what you'd like them to be. It's getting involved and showing interest in each other, really listening and being available, the way any best friend should be. Exactly three things need to be remembered in a marriage if it is to be a mutual bond of sharing, caring, and loving throughout life: love, trust, and forgiveness.

The Key to Love

The key to love is understanding... The ability to comprehend not only the spoken word, but those unspoken gestures, the little things that say so much by themselves.

The key to love is forgiveness... to accept each others faults and pardon mistakes, without forgetting, but with remembering what you learn from them.

The key to love is sharing... Facing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together; both conquering problems, forever searching for ways to intensify your happiness.

The key to love is giving... without thought of return, but with the hope of just a simple smile, and by giving in but never giving up.

The key to love is respect... realising that you are two separate people, with different ideas; that you don't belong to each other, that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.

The key to love is inside us all... It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients that will take you to its threshold; it is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work... but the rewards are more than worth the effort... and that is the key to love.

On Friendship

by Roy Croft also called 'Love' also called 'To my Friend'

I love you, not for what you are, but what I am, when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.

I love you for putting your hand into my heaped up heart and passing over all the frivolous and weak things that you cannot help seeing there, and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful and radiant things that no one else has looked quite far enough to find...

I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.

You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself. Perhaps that is what being a friend means after all.

What is Love?

By Susan Polis Schutz

Love Love is the strongest feeling known an all -encompassing passion an extreme strength an overwhelming excitement

Love is trying not to hurt the other person trying not to change the other person trying not to dominate the other person trying not to deceive the other person

Love is understanding each other listening to each other supporting each other having fun with each other.

Love is not an excuse to stop growing not an excuse to stop making yourself better not an excuse to lessen one's goals not an excuse to take the other person for granted

Love is being completely honest with each other finding dreams to share working towards common goals sharing responsibilities equally

Everyone in the world wants to love Love is not a feeling to be taken lightly Love is a feeling to be cherished, nurtured and cared for Love is the reason for life

From This Day Forward

From this day forward, let us laugh together, and plan together, let us find our favorite places, and go together... Let us enjoy the sunshine, and the rain, being alone together, and in crowds together... From this day forward, together, Let us love! Let Us Walk Together Let us walk together yet not as one, but such that our shadows are separate and distinct, such that our souls are unbound and free. Let us share our time, yet do not give all your time, nor take all of mine for in order to develop to the fullest, to be free, we must have solitude and individuality.

Let me wander in solitude, when I need to be alone, yet be near, when I need you. Let us share our love. Give freely of your love, but do not smother me, my soul must breathe a free air. Take my love, but do not demand it, for love given of obligation, is stale and without life. Let us share our lives.

Share my life, but do not try to shape it. Let me share your life, but do not let it revolve around me. Let us share ourselves. Accept me as I am, do not attempt to change me to fit your dreams. Respect me for what I am, not for what I was or one day may be. Share yourself with me, but do not allow me to limit your freedom or bind your soul. Let us share our minds, thoughts, goals, values and dreams. Let us develop these within ourselves without restriction or loss of freedom

Thus our two free souls, may wander together as they develop in freedom. As we share our lives, as we walk through life together, know my love is yours, but not my soul for it must be free.

Marriage is a Promise of Love

Marriage is a commitment to life ... to the best that the two people can find and bring out of each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth no other human relationship can equal, a physical and emotional joining that promised for a lifetime. Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life's most important relationships. A wife and a husband are each others best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic. There may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tend caring of a parent for a child. Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher, commitments are stronger, even is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly.

Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing love through the seasons of life.

When two people pledge to love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique to themselves, which binds them closer than any spoken or written words.

Marriage is a promise, a potential, made in the hearts of two people who love, which takes a lifetime to fulfill.

Why Marriage? (altered slightly)

Author: Mari Nichols

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person, with all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body . Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me, who won't hold them against me, who loves me when I'm unlikable, who sees the small child in me, and looks for the divine potential of me. Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night with someone who is thankful, with someone I feel blessed to hold. Because marriage means opportunity to grow in love in friendship. Because, knowing this, I promise myself to take full responsibility for my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness, I create me, I take half of the responsibility for my marriage together we create ourmarriage. Because with this understanding the possibilities are limitless.