By Rev. Dr. Avedis Boynerian & Dr. Yn. Arpi Boynerian
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Back when we were still engaged, we ran into a certain man at a market. As soon as he learned about our engagement, he said, “Enjoy your engagement days, because marriage is love’s tomb.” His message bothered both of us and put a heavy toll on our hearts. But God’s provision was very present and eased all doubts because a few days later, we had a meeting with our minister to reflect on our growing relationship. During our meeting, the minister shared how he cherishes his relationship with his wife. Over the years, he told us he understood the meaning of true love. He said, “After 25 years of marriage, today I feel that I love my wife more than I used to love her when we first met.” The minister’s message gave us great encouragement and hope and cleared up the previously negative image of marriage in our mind.
After 30 years of marriage, we can tell you that the minister’s message is true. But our true love did not evolve by itself. It took a lot of effort, time, communication and work over the years. We attended many marriage seminars, which helped us understand each other more and offered practical tools to help others along the way.
Marriage is the most important relationship. That’s why it needs our undivided attention to nourish it, clean it and dust it from the debris of life’s everyday challenges. Otherwise, it can quickly become something that’s repetitious and lackluster, like a monotonous chore or responsibility in daily life. Without empathy, excitement and joy, marriage can become a decision that we can unfortunately regret.
Knowing the importance of this blessed union, last year the New England clergy along with yeretzgins of the Greater Boston area came together to plan and orchestrate the first Couples’ Night Out. The mutual respect and cooperation of the clergy is a unique reality of the New England area. Eight clergies and 66 couples attended the event. The speakers were Drs. Paul and Virginia Friesen from Home Improvement Ministries.
The couple’s mission has been to equip the faithful and churches to better encourage marriage and families in living out loving relationships. The Friesens have an interesting way of feeding off each other during their presentation; it’s entertaining, engaging and most importantly, enlightening.