Incipit Vita Nova
by S. M. Hutchens
Although others have doubtless made this observation, I haven't found it, so I put it down here: There is too much written about what the partners bring to marriage in terms of their previously developed individualities, as though these were a permanent feature of the union. It's not good to look at it that way, for once married, the two individualities are subsumed in a unity described in the Bible as "one flesh." Once the marriage is accomplished, they are one and the unitary organism is new. The husband and wife would do well to think of it that way as much as they can.
Every post-nuptial action of each toward the other is part of a new beginning, the laying of a foundation and erection of a superstructure of something that will have more or less beauty and stability, depending on the care that goes into the work. For the married, the individualism of their former lives should be reckoned as over, and they should concentrate on the new work. There is the likelihood, if marriage is done well, for a result much greater than the potentialities carried into it on the two original pieces.
S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.
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