Marriage Part II – A fortress of wellbeing

“And when He desired to manifest grace and beneficence to men, and to set the world in order, He revealed observances and created laws; among them He established the law of marriage, made it a fortress of well-being and salvation, and enjoined it upon us…” Baha’u’llah

“Baha’i marriage is union and cordial affection between the two parties. They must .. become acquainted with each other’s character. This eternal bond should be made secure by a firm covenant, and the intention should be to foster harmony, fellowship and unity and to attain everlasting life ….” Abdu’l-Baha

Character development that is important to marriage include: knowing one’s self and that leads to loftiness or abasement; detachment from the vanities of the world, from covetousness and self; honesty; trustworthiness; meeting challenges with maturity. While continuing to perfect these characteristics are life-long challenge, having an idea of the extent of weakness and strengths in these characters will provide a person with a sense of compatibility with another, and a tolerance of other’s weaknesses. Historically family based character training has relied on cultural conventions. These have been quite undermined in the modern era as many of the strongest economic and democratic cultures have been based on the intermingling of racial and cultural groups. The loss of traditions of character training are not all bad, as prejudice was often trained along with social propriety. However, the baby having been thrown out with the bath water, the generations since the 1960’s are increasingly poorly trained in the management of emotion and desire which is essential to a mature character. This is unfortunate for the immediate generations to come into the world, as, even a resurgence of interest in character training of children will be taken up by parents who are very poorly trained themselves. Nonetheless, improvement in marriage as an eternal bond, a firm covenant, a fortress of well-being, requires a great effort in society to build interest among young people in their own character development and the training of their own children’s character.

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