yogananda

CHAPTER 11

Unconditional Love: Perfecting Human Relationships

 Marriage

People who want to marry should first have to learn to control their emotions. Two people placed together in the arena of marriage without this training battle worse than opponents in a World War! Wars, at least, come to an end after a time; but some marital partners engage in combat throughout life. You would think that in a civilized society people should know how to get along, but few have learned this art. A marriage should be nurtured on high ideals and the wine of God’s inspiration; then it will be a happy and mutually beneficial union.

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If husbands and wives who are accustomed to using each other for target practice, using bullets of wrathful language and discourtesies, would try instead to entertain each other with the soul-solacing charm of kind words, they would then create a new happiness in family life.

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Sex has its place in the marital relationship between man and woman. But if it becomes the supreme factor in that relationship, love flies out the door and disappears completely; in its place come possessiveness, over-familiarity, and the abuse and loss of friendship and understanding. Though sexual attraction is one of the conditions under which love is born, sex in itself is not love. Sex and love are as far apart as the moon and the sun. It is only when the transmuting quality of true love is uppermost in the relationship that sex becomes a means of expressing love. Those who live too much on the sex plane lose their way and fail to find a satisfying marital relationship. It is by self-control, in which sex is not the ruling emotion, but only incidental to love, that husband and wife can know what real love is. In this modern world, unfortunately, love is too often destroyed by overemphasis on sex experience.

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