Wedding Reading: The Art of Marriage by Wilferd Peterson

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Wilferd Peterson is an American author who credits his wife Ruth as being the greatest inspiration for his work. He is best known for his poem The Art Of Marriage and it is claimed that this piece is the most frequently recited English language wedding poem in the world.

Some may balk at the idea of using something so popular in their ceremony, but there’s often a reason why things are so popular… because they’re so good!

This poem has stood the test of time thanks to it’s simple language and relatable and very modern sentiment. So don’t dismiss something just for the sake of being different. If a piece resonates with you, then go with it.

The Art of Marriage
Wilferd Peterson

The little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
The courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
It should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.

It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo, or the wife to have the wings of an angel.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.

It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for the 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 is not only marrying the right partner,
It is BEING the right partner.
This is the art of marriage.

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