The image you chose as a metaphor
8. should support the wedding vows you are making.
You don’t need to have it in the vows, but the picture the image offers helps everyone to understand why you are offering those specific promises.
Your vows should be written from your strengths, values and talents. They should shore up those areas of your relationship that are not perhaps inately your best talents. Your metaphor should help everyone envision the work you are undertaking. It should be a talisman throughout the years to remind you of the work you are doing… and the joy you have in making these commitments.
Tip: The stronger the identification you can make with a metaphor, and the more frequently the image appears in your life, the more support it will offer your marriage. It will also remind your community to support you whenever they see the image show up and they make the connection to your promises to one another.
The image of a metaphor is strengthened if
7. it is somewhat common.
You want to reinforce the notion that love is ubiquitous and that your relationship thrives in the every day. Marriage, after all is an every day activity. The metaphor you choose to illustrate your love in your wedding ceremony should be frequently encountered.
If something is too exotic in your life, then your chances of encountering it are slimmer. You loose the reinforcement that common activities offer. So using an image that involves the life-cycle of a camel if you live in Rhode Island, even if it can be made gloriously beautiful, is not going to provide the daily reinforcement that the tides of the sea or the changing of the seasons might.
Tip: Choose a metaphor to describe your relationship that has value and frequency in your life. Then it can be something more than poetic beauty, it can be a marital aid.
Metaphors work best
6. When there is an activity that accompanies it.
Food you eat, things you plant, water you spill out. These allow the image to settle in more deeply.
The more common the images, the more they will be reinforced in our daily lives. The more they’re reinforced in our daily lives, the greater the meaninng they will have in our marriages.
Tip: choose a metaphor to describe your love that can be reinforced with a small activity. Use it in your wedding ceremony. For 3 weeks afterwards, do the action and think of the way you love one another. There you are, with your love for one another sealed into the sharing of bread, for the rest of your life.
What else is going to make a metaphor able to support you as time goes on?
5. The image should be comfortable.
You want an image that will settle into your hearts and psyches and provide an a continual glow to renew your connection with your wedding day.
Metaphors that work are simple, attractive and don’t unsettle you. They should invite you. If your love is like a warm blanket, then every time you and your beloved get into bed and pull a particular blanket up over you, perhaps a coverlet you received as part of your wedding gifts, you’re reinforcing the image you generated at your wedding. All of the blessings of the marriage bed are in that simple action of pulling up the covers.
Tip: Find an image to use that will serve you into the life of your marriage. Choose a metaphor that will become more rather than less comfortable. Something that will wear in, rather than out, as it gets more use.
Metaphors work, as I’ve pointed out. But what you want is for them to work well. You’re looking for them to help out your marriage. So, choose a metaphor that will help you.
4. The image should be “contagious” and appealing. It should be something that people can understand quickly.
Hallmark does so well because it uses metaphors that appeal to us. Your job is to find something that appeals specifically to you, but is completely graspable by your community.
Part of the lovely nature of metaphor is that it takes something complex and simplifies it for us. OH, your love is like a game of tennis between two friendly and seasoned competitors. Good volleys, interesting shots, as much interest in an enjoyable game as in winning the point. (No, really, there are people like that!)
Tip: Find a metaphor that is attractive. Something you would want in your life on a daily basis. Something simple you can work with on a daily basis and then let it help you grow a great marriage.