I like the story of the newlywed who served ham for her first Sunday dinner. The husband noticed the ends of the ham had been cut off and he asked why. "That's the way my mother always did it," the bride replied with a shrug. He asked his wife's mother the same question and got the same answer, "That's the way my mother did it." Finally he asked the grandma, who replied, "That's the only way I could get it into the pan."
They that have power to hurt and will do none, That do not do the thing they most do show, Who, moving others, are themselves as stone, Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow; They rightly do inherit Heaven's graces, And husband nature's riches from expense; They are the lords and owners of their faces, Others but stewards of their excellence. The summer's flower is to the summer sweet, Though to itself it only live and die; But if that flower with base infection meet, The basest weed outbraves his dignity: For Sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds: Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.
Marriage is a relationship based in no small part on virtues. The most basic of these is responsibility, for marriage is an arrangement held together by mutual dependence and reciprocal obligations. But successful marriages are about more than fulfilling the conditions of a contract. In good marriages, men and women seek to improve themselves for the sake of their loved one. They offer and draw moral strength by sharing compassion, courage, honesty, self-discipline and a host of other virtues. Husband and wives complete themselves through each other, and the whole of the union becomes stronger and more wonderful than the sum of the two parts.