The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Mark 10:1-12. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate

The common themes in love songs are the honeymoon phase and the breakup phase, illustrating the intensity of highs and lows in a romantic relationship. During the courtship and premarital relationship stages, both parties get to know more about each other and assess how good a fit one is with the other.

Marriage is supposed to be an oath with a Higher Power as the key witness. This is a testament where love and oneness emerges not from excitable hearts and hormones, but from the discernment of the mind, heart, and spirit. Marriage should be an opportunity for two authentic lovers to pay attention to the new entity (couple) that emerges; to gain insight about oneself, the other, and the couple; and to commit together. A marriage allows us to appreciate what “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” mean from a human perspective. There is a miraculous beauty, an exponential surplus of meaning, in marriage.

But if marriage is treated as just another “title” between couples, if we make marriage akin to try-and-refund schemes of consumer products, then we risk destroying the beauty of what marriage should really mean. If marriage enables a new whole to emerge that is greater than the sum of its parts, attempting to break up a marriage could lead to the painful opposite:

When the whole is broken apart, the individual parts could be lesser than what they were individually before; suffering, losing meaning.

[DAILY GOSPEL INSIGHTS AND REFLECTION FOR MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION 56: FEBRUARY 25, 2022]

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