To Marrying Couples
Related to the content of the San Antonio toast, I have been giving, to marrying couples, much needed and appreciated advice that would be good to share publicly. Therefore, the following, more or less, is this advice (which, really, is suited to all ages and better given well before the dating process even begins):*
“Love thy neighbor as thyself” is the key principle to sustains a marriage. In fact, fairly treating others (which is loving others as you love yourself) is the most important rule to follow for any relationship! After all, doing the reverse, that is, being unfair, causes anger that tears apart interpersonal bonds.
This Biblical rule (often called “The Golden Rule” and a foundational precept of myriad religions) instructs to love your neighbor before you love yourself. Why should you initiate giving the love? Because if you, at first, rightly butter up someone, he or she, then satisfied, will reciprocate with more love in return! Furthermore, even if you discover, after giving love first, that the other person, acting selfishly, did not appropriately reciprocate, such was a worthwhile loss. It was worthy because, at the time of such a loss, you discover that other person’s character early enough so not to make a future, mistaken, deep or long-term investment of emotion or resources that leads to broken-heartedness. Thereafter, with such lessons learned, loving our neighbors as ourselves promotes faithfulness, a trait crucial to a marriage or a relationship. Faithfulness is promoted because when we properly abide by the Golden Rule, knowledge is imparted so that we know in whom our faith can be rightly entrusted.
* My advice, in slightly different form, was printed, as a “Letter to the Editor,” under the title, “The Most Important Rule,” in the Jewish Press edition of September 1, 2017.