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Like the Newmans..."The Art of Marriage" is Classic


The classic wedding reading "The Art of Marriage," by Wilferd Arlan Peterson, is one of the most oft read and inspiring wedding readings around. As we reported several months ago, wedding lore has it that several lines of this reading was included in the nuptials of Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, who got hitched in Las Vegas.

That was almost fifty years ago! Today it stands out as a classic for our times.

I have been using this reading in my wedding ministry for many years. Couples love it because it reflects the values and sentiments that truly enhance life together! It's the stuff a good marriage is made of.

Wanted to share it again here because it is so important for all of us to remember that a good marriage must be created, nurtured, built over time. Marriage is an art unto itself. And …

In the Art of Marriage the little things are the important things.

It means never being too old to hold hands, or to say I love you.

It's never going to bed angry.

It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should
not end with the honeymoon. Allow it to continue through the years.

It's having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.

It's standing together facing the world.

It's forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

It's doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or
sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.

It's speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in
thoughtful ways.

It is not looking for perfection in each other and yet seeing each
other perfect as you are.

It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of

It's having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It's giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for 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's not only marrying the right partner, it's being the right partner.

The above is a version of "The Art of Marriage" that I may have slightly tweaked over time, so I offer it with apologies to Mr. Peterson if a word was changed here or there. However, I imagine it would please him to know how much his words have meant to so many over time!

You can find links to the original short and long versions, with related copyright information, at http://www.artofmarriage.org.

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