The town was on the edge of one of the great lakes. The wind swept the waves onto the shore in cold splashes. Snow flurries reminded everyone that summer was gone. People shivered a bit as they came into the warm auditorium of the church where I was lecturing on marriage. Among the things I talked about in an hour and a half was the importance of strengthening human ties, and working on the continuity of relationships as a creative thing of beauty, worthy of career status. I suggested a variety of new starts to the husband and wife relationship, ways of finding new ways to work together, such as growing indoors as a hobby as well as for producing food, growing a vegetable garden, or cultivating rare fruits and berries, or recovering furniture and producing a joint work of refinishing wood and upholstering, of making a croquet court, or a chicken coup. “Do you love to swim, and does your husband prefer mountain climbing? Try learning to climb with him to surprise him, and to discover a new dimension of sharing discoveries. There are things to be seen and enjoyed on the whole trail, not just from a peak, which can’t be found under water. Find a kind of book he enjoys and try reading out loud for an evening instead of watching T.V., and discover the togetherness of discussing chapters, or even paragraphs, and put it aside to make a milk shake or to cut a melon when there is a drop in interest.”

New beginnings are important in an evening, as well as in a week, a month, a year, or a decade of a human relationship. It takes imagination and a certain amount of practice to put the other person first, for husbands and wives. The secret is the discovery of practical ways of literally fulfilling the admonition, “he ...

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