Thank you for asking me to share a few words on the Sikh thought on relationship of man and wife. Sikhi is a faith of the householder and encourages the believers to seek their spiritual elevation including the ultimate goal of liberation even as they live their married lives amidst all the worldly problems and pursuing temporal activities.
The concept is rooted in the Sikh belief that one can attain the Truth only if one lives in and by God’s will. God in His wisdom has created this world with all its diversity. Of all His creation birth as a human being is the greatest gift of God. Our role is to live in harmony with the creation and serve God’s purpose.
The path of Sikhi shows the way for a householder to attain to the Truth. It essentially implies that one accepts responsibility for self, family and those associated – provides for them, cares for them and lives a prayerful life with them so that if God’s grace descends it brings liberation not only to the individual but also to those associated.
Marriage partners therefore among Sikhs are not only partners in shared mutual love, raising and nurturing the family, but also in spiritual pursuit. In fact the ritual process of wedding itself reminds the bride and the groom about their joint and shared spiritual quest that begins with the first step around the Guru and should lead them together thru various stages to God’s lotus feet.
The metaphor of love of man and wife is abundantly used to describe the love of God that we should all cherish. In that context both man and wife are envisioned as females pining for the love Divine. God’s love is for all of us to seek, men or women. All homes should be like a temple of God where His praises are sung – for verily heaven is where virtuous reside.
This paradigm is completed by the quality of sharing. The Gurus did not commend denials or austerities. They recognized that even loving adoration of God is not possible without the essential human needs being met. In fact they did not discourage worldly pursuit of material wealth provided it was shared with the needy and the holy. Sikhs thus are persuaded to live purposeful lives, pursue excellence, achieve worldly comforts as long they retain their sense of humility, their willingness to share what they have and are able to stay detached from worldly things even as they live in their midst.
Marriage is a celebratory moment and is so depicted. The color of love, red, should be abiding and should never fade away. Keep that love in your heart. Let that love guide your thoughts and actions. Live life in its fullness imbued with that love and thus even as you relish good food, wear fineries, enjoy laughter and playfulness God’s blessings will continue to shower on you.