Monday, March 14, 2011

Cultivating a Harmonious Marriage

Today marks the 14th anniversary of the day my husband and I met. I'm so glad God brought us together!

After seven years of piano lessons, I began to enjoy playing the piano and I have enjoyed it ever since. There a few basic things I've learned along the way about playing the piano that I believe also relate to harmony in a marriage.

1. Practice makes (just about) perfect. When I would shirk my practicing duty as a kid, I'd get to my piano lesson and find I had a lot to do over for another week. There wasn't any progress. The next week was spent practicing the songs I should have already perfected.

Marriage is a little bit different. We can't just decide not to practice in marriage. We are always practicing something. We may be practicing harsh words, nagging tones or cold indifference. Or we can put our efforts toward progress and growth in our marriages by practicing overlooking faults, gentle tones and affection. This will move us toward a marriage of sweet harmony or a marriage of ugly dissonance.

2. Know when to lift your foot from the sustain pedal. I've heard many pianists play and I've heard a few mistakes (besides my own!). Hearing a pianist make a mistake once in a while is just part of life. Both playing the piano and marriage have an element of humanity which means there will not be complete perfection at all times. (Note: By mistake, I mean mistake, not intentional sin.) However, when I hear a pianist play a discord and then keep the sustain pedal down, it particularly grates on my nerves because everyone around will hear the mistake and be distracted from the beautiful music.

Maybe it's a disagreement we just don't want to let go. Or an annoying habit he has of which we feel he needs to be constantly reminded. If we make mistakes in our marriages, we must be prepared to correct them and move on quickly so the beautiful music won't be interrupted.

3. Follow the leader. I grew up in a denomination that always had a piano and organ playing for the song service. In fact, we still have at least the piano playing every service. We are very traditional in the sense that we still have one song leader who leads the congregation in hymns and praise choruses. There have been a few church services in my lifetime where I have heard the song leader leading at one tempo, the pianist playing at another and the organist playing a third with a very confused congregation trying to decide which one to follow! There is not beautiful harmony until everyone follows the leader at the same tempo.

This is not a popular idea, but I believe that a God-centered marriage must have a leader and everyone else in the family must follow him in order to operate in harmony. A Godly husband sets the tempo and the rest of the family joins in to make beautiful music to the Savior, which in turn is heard by the world around us.

Just a few thoughts that came to me on my piano bench.