“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude…. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” I Corinthians 13:4, 8
This summer we will be celebrating 25 years of marriage. Over the years, we have often thought back to our wedding day. Our wedding took place in Yn. Arpi’s home parish in Toronto, Canada, and included many guests from Fr. Vasken’s home parish who traveled to be a part of that special day. Our wedding day, as is true for all couples, was unforgettable, filled with joy, love, family and friends—a beautiful start to a relationship that began on a mission trip to Armenia two years earlier, one that we know was truly designed by God.
As the day of celebration including a blessed marriage sacrament and joyous reception came to a close, we collapsed into our limo and headed to the airport to begin our honeymoon. As we got underway, our limo driver shared his own personal story. “I was married once,” he recalled. “It was a disaster. Thank God we divorced. Marriage is tough . . .” We both looked at each other, somewhat stunned, somewhat caught off guard, and most definitely speechless. The real world seemed to be looking for a way to shatter the bliss of our hours-old marriage. Not knowing how to respond to the driver’s discouraging words, we simply spent the remainder of the drive hand-in-hand, looking into each other’s eyes, tuning out the world around us. We knew we were in love. We knew our families loved and encouraged us. And we knew that God loved us. Our life together, as one, was just beginning.
After twenty-five years of marriage, we can still look into each other’s eyes and tune out the rest of the world, because the joy of our wedding day and the oath we made to each other and before God on that day, have been both our guiding light and our refuge.
To be honest, looking back on our wedding day, as a young couple, we were completely naïve. We had no idea what would happen in the days and years ahead, about the joys and pains that awaited us. We were newlyweds with a lifetime of adventure ahead, overflowing with faith, hope and love. To us, that is the basis of our marriage. Marriage is a journey, setting out and walking together, hand in hand, inviting Jesus Christ to walk with us and embrace our love and relationship, then, now, and for the rest of our lives.
Our marriage is centered on Christ and in His Love for us as a couple
Twenty-five years after the driver’s comments, our marriage has given him our response. Our marriage is centered on Christ and in His Love for us as a couple, united by His blessing. The world around us may have thrown obstacles and roadblocks along the way, and from time to time they may have taken us off course, but God has blessed our lives in ways that only we know and in ways that the world around us cannot diminish. With trust in God’s faithfulness and our faithfulness to each other, we face the world without fear and with the trust that we stand together…as one…united united by the blessing of God, filled with abundant faith, hope and love.
On Saturday, March 30, 2019, the Armenian clergy of the Greater Boston area, unite to offer a second marriage seminar entitled “Marriages That Thrive” with guest speakers Drs. Paul and Virginia Friesen from Home Improvement Ministries. This is a follow-up to last year’s successful marriage seminar, where 66 couples attended and found an evening devoted to just them and their marriage. Later this month, the conversation will continue by focusing on establishing and maintaining marriages that last. The Friesens are entertaining and engaging as they help couples look inward and devote more time to their most important relationship, their own marriage.
This event will include an authentic Armenian buffet dinner, live Armenian music and fellowship. This year it will be held at the Holy Trinity Armenian Church (145 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA). The cost is $100 per couple.
We encourage the couples of the Greater Boston area to join us and devote this evening to their marriages. We look forward to experiencing the evening together.
Fr. Vasken and Yn. Arpi Kouzouian
For reservations and more information, call 617-354-0632.