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In this series of articles we’re looking at how the Bahá’í Marriage Vow “We will all verily abide by the Will of God” can help solve the 10 most common marriage problems.  In this article we will explore the topic of spending time together in marriage.

The analogy of two birds in a nest is often used to describe a Bahá’í marriage.  The nest can’t be built if you don’t spend time together building it!

In this glorious Cause the life of a married couple should resemble the life of the angels in heaven — a life full of joy and spiritual delight, a life of unity and concord, a friendship both mental and physical. The home should be orderly and well-organized. Their ideas and thoughts should be like the rays of the sun of truth and the radiance of the brilliant stars in the heavens. Even as two birds they should warble melodies upon the branches of the tree of fellowship and harmony. They should always be elated with joy and gladness and be a source of happiness to the hearts of others. They should set an example to their fellow-men, manifest a true and sincere love towards each other and educate their children in such a manner as to blazon the fame and glory of their family.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet-translated from the Persian)

None of these concepts can be achieved if the husband spends too much time at work; the wife spends too much time in volunteer work, or the couple are geographically separated.

Unity within a marriage has to take priority over everything else, and you can’t have unity without togetherness.

In considering the problems that you and your wife are experiencing, the House of Justice points out that the unity of your family should take priority over any other consideration. Bahá’u’lláh came to bring unity to the world, and a fundamental unity is that of the family. Therefore, we must believe that the Faith is intended to strengthen the family, not weaken it. For example, service to the Cause should not produce neglect of the family. It is important for you to arrange your time so that your family life is harmonious and your household receives the attention it requires.  (Universal House of Justice, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 453)

Service to the Faith is important, but it can’t take priority over spending time together:

Surely Shoghi Effendi would like to see you and the other friends give their whole time and energy to the Cause, for we are in great need for competent workers, but the home is an institution that Bahá’u’lláh has come to strengthen and not to weaken. Many unfortunate things have happened in Bahá’í homes just for neglecting this point. Serve the Cause but also remember your duties towards your home. It is for you to find the balance and see that neither makes you neglect the other. We would have many more husbands in the Cause were the wives more thoughtful and moderate in their Bahá’í activities.  (Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 220)

If the husband needs to travel for work or some other purpose, he must notify his wife of his anticipated return.  If he doesn’t, she is free to remarry:

 The husband must fix for his wife the time of his return when intending to travel. If, for a legitimate reason, he is prevented from returning at the appointed time, he must inform her and strive to return to her. If he fails to fulfil either condition, she must wait 9 months, after which she may remarry, though it is preferable for her to wait longer. If news of his death or murder reaches her, and the news is confirmed by general report or by 2 reliable witnesses, she may remarry after the lapse of 9 months.  (Baha’u’llah, Synopsis and Codification of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 40)

This is a protection for the wife, and talks to the importance of spending time together so consultation can take place.

For more information please see:

Role Confusion 

Money 

Sex 

In-laws and Children

Communication 

Love and Effort 

Unresolved Baggage from Childhood

Gossip and Backbiting

For more on this topic, please see:

Introduction to Marriage Vows

We Will All Verily Abide by the Will of God

Sex Before Marriage 

Sex Inside Marriage 

Using the Year of Patience 

 How have these ideas helped you understand the Will of God with regards to the importance of spending time together?  Post your comments here: