The Look on His Face

I began this poem months ago, prompted by watching a young man walk passed, fitting the description I start these verses with. I have now added further verses that give body to my observation and cogitations. I offer it to your reading pleasure.

The Look on His Face. A poem by Chris Field. November 2008

The look on his face said it all.
Idiot grin and uneasy glee.
Her hand in his was all he knew,
And it tossed him with elation strange and new.

Giddy tripped his heart as reason cut its anchor.
Emotion surged through muscle and mind, abandoning thought and sensibility.
She smiled, and his puppy grin stretched muscles to the point of pain.
Tripping bliss stumbled on in dazed delirium.

How easily this fool was caught in love’s strong surging stream.
How quickly he was swept away dissolving at the seam.
A Gonner! He is done for now. No hope for breathing space.
He’s taken hook, line, sinker too! I see it on his face.

How sweet it is to be so caught and blessed by sudden bliss.
How sweet to tingle at her touch, her smile, her eyes, her kiss.
How sweet to fall by Cupid’s shaft striking from above.
How sweet to have life start anew as now you fall in love.

I wonder what his face will show in days yet far away.
I wonder what his thoughts will think and what his heart will say.
Tomorrow he will spend his days entangled in life’s race.
But now he’s stepped aside from that. I see it in his face.

Keep this moment in your heart. Other days will come.
The sweetness will at times turn sour as life moves to its sum.
You’ll need more than puppy love to live your wondrous dream.
So pause to pray at God’s great throne and stand in heavenly beam.

Your heart is not enough to guide you through the coming years.
Joy fades in pains and happiness has oft dissolved to tears.
Faith and Grace are needed now, and strength in you to stand.
With them on board you have no fear to take that sweet girl’s hand.

But I can see you haven’t heard a thing I’ve had to say.
Your face betrays your mindless joy that’s swept your heart away.
Oh well, I pray that ere you wed and step into the fray
You’ll find the time to call on God and humbly kneel to pray.

God bless your joy. God bless your gal. God bless your future too.
God keep you from all foolish thought and keep your purpose true.
God grab you, firm and hold you fast, just as love has done.
May you rejoice each day to know your God, the Holy One.

“I Do” – a marriage poem

With recent discussions about Marriage Poems I decided to try wriing something a little more romantic than my normal fare.  I realise that many of my Marriage Poems lack that certain romantic element many people are looking for. So this is an attempt to create something that is more readily consumable in the wider arena. However, I don’t seem to be able to help myself. I find that I’m dipping into “reality” territory again. Oh well, maybe this kind of reality will be a little more acceptable than some of my more direct material.

“I DO” by Chris Field. March 20, 2008

I lift my voice and say, “I do”
And so I pledge myself to you,
And there you do the same to me.
How happy we are sure to be.

Yet in all this I can’t be sure
That my weak spots you’ll ignore,
When I let you down each day
Will that turn your heart away?

I am mud. and cannot be
What you deeply hope from me.
I know I’ll make you hurt and sad
My mother says I drive her mad!

So let me add another pledge
For us to make at wedding’s edge.
Let us promise in this place
To always walk in love and grace.

Let us not be rashly blind
As we tie the cords that bind,
But let us choose up front to give
The grace that always will forgive.

Let us choose to give the love
That we receive from God above,
A love that brings us through the pain
The storms, the hurts, the wind and rain.

So let us pledge our love that’s true
As we speak our clear, “I Do”.
Let us look to saving grace
And let us walk before God’s face.

“I Do”, “I Do”, “I Truly Do”
Commit myself to loving you.
I choose to bless you every day
And find in God my strength and stay.

As you take me as your own
And journey into days unknown
Also take His grace along
So nothing now can spoil our song.

I love you, princess, be my bride.
Come and in God’s love abide.
Let us now as two agree
That God’s grace will keep us free.

“I Do”

What is Your Model of Marriage?

How To Understand Your Marriage Model and What You Are Building

When people build a marriage they work from a model or concept that they are looking to follow. People have expectations, desires and even dreams of what marriage will be for them. In the Western world our ideas of marriage are largely driven by “romance” and sentiment.

Having studied marriage around the world, in African tribes, European families, South American homes, Pacific Islands, Asian communities and America, England and Australia as well, I have noted that certain popular models prevail.

While romance is the Western ideal, people have come up with various ideas about how a marriage should work in practice. There are several models that people consider appropriate. People look for a spouse who has a similar model or who will fit in with their own expectations. If they have not clarified this ahead of time then there could be quite some tension if the husband and wife work from different models.

What is your marriage all about? Can you see yourself in any of these common concepts or practical realities?

Assigned Duties

A common model is that the couple will have various assigned duties in the marriage. The wife, for example, may be the home-maker while the husband is the main income earner. The wife may take care of the home while the husband looks after the yard and externals. The wife may attend to the children’s school activities, while the husband attends to their sporting interests.

The model gives each spouse their assigned roles. If a spouse does not do their part properly the other can prompt them about it. One will not take on the role of the other unless there is some prior agreement or a necessity arises.

Mutual Obligation

In the same vein as the Assigned Duties model, the idea of Mutual Obligation is that both husband and wife expect to get certain benefits, such as sexual intimacy, security and comfort, out of the marriage, but accept that they share obligations as well. They see that there should be a level of fairness in the distribution of responsibilities, based on interests and abilities.

The 50-50 Partnership

This takes the idea of Mutual Obligation to the point of negotiated equality. This model is often promoted by wives who are afraid of being lorded over by a man. They choose the 50:50 partnership model because it sounds quite equitable and fair, while allowing them room to resist any imposition made on them by a husband, especially if the husband does not measure up.

It’s a Man’s World

This model is based on the idea that the man is king and the woman is blessed to be his bride. The woman’s pay-off is that she gets to be wife to a man whom she considers desirable, because of this image or his ability to provide. While certain macho males will hold to this model it also works for those who are wealthy or who have some other attribute that makes them a good catch. The wife can have the benefits of the money, fame or social standing, but the price is that she must make the man happy.

The Idolised Woman

This model appeals to those men who feel a strong need for a woman in their life. They may seek sexual favours or look for a strong woman who will mother them. They consider it a privilege to be married to their wife and will do all in their power to make and keep her happy. The woman is happy to have such devotion, but usually finds her husband quite unsatisfactory when the height of his focus is only her.

Something Is Better Than Nothing

This kind of marriage works for those who don’t expect to get a particularly good deal out of life and who accept the opportunities that come along on the basis that there may not be anything else. A couple may marry and make the best of the situation, while neither is particularly impressed with the other or with the marriage.

Let’s See If It Works

Many people enter into marriage with no real confidence that the relationship will work. They give it a shot, but have no real understanding of how to build a solid marriage. If it works they are happy, but if it falls apart, they feel that there was nothing they could do about it.

The Obligatory Duty

Some people feel as if marriage is something they must do and endure because it is expected of them. They find a spouse, or have an arranged marriage, and do their part as best they know how. They suffer the indignities, put up with the problems and are glad for the happy moments. Marriage is not something that excites them, but is something that is expected of them and they yield to that social pressure.

The Contract

In view of so many marriages disintegrating and people being left with pain over asset distribution and sorting out the mess, the idea of a contract is increasingly popular. With second marriages, people are more likely to define who owns what and what will happen if they divorce. Pre-nuptial agreements are occurring more commonly, to prepare for the eventuality of divorce. Whether anything is ever written or signed, the concept of the contract is common. The idea is that each spouse is only bound to the marriage if the other person upholds their end of the bargain.

In my books, MARRIAGE HORIZONS and MENDING MARRIAGES, I investigate the bigger picture of marriage. But for now, consider these questions. Is you marriage what it is supposed to be? Have you built something worthy of your life and your spouse? What are you doing about making your marriage better?

The most effective marriages are those where the couple work ON their marriage, not just IN the marriage. The more determined you are to be the best “you” you can be and to have the best marriage you can have, the more likely you are to move forward and enjoy a better life.

However, let me give you a word of caution. Don’t assume that your ideas are right just because they suit you. And don’t assume you are right just because you can convince your spouse to go along with you. The smartest people look for exemplars, mentors and benchmarks that lead them beyond their personal best, to things that are better still.

I congratulate you for taking the time to read this. You obviously want to have your marriage succeed. My prayer is that your marriage is successful and blessed, and a role model for the next generation.