Friday, April 15, 2011
Two become One!
Relationships have been coming up a lot lately, and I feel that many of us can always use reminders about what a Biblical marriage, and even a biblical courtship can be about. One of the biggest problems we have in today's society is that both people in the relationship aren't giving 100% of themselves. They enter a relationship intending to have their own this, and their own that. We often forget that as Christians we believe that when we are married, two become one.
Genesis 2:24 - For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
You see, even our secular legal system takes this to heart. (Though many are trying to make legal documents to keep them marriage from being binding.) When a man marries a woman, he and she are both an entity as far as the law is concerned. What she owes becomes his debt, and what he owes becomes her debt. A popular joke is that what is mine is hers, and what is hers is hers! We can laugh about that, but in reality we should be saying, What is ours is ours!
How much more pleasant will our marriages be if we simply stop thinking of our spouse as another person, but an extension of ourself. Would we say cruel things to ourselvs? Would we purposely beat ourselves up? Would we hit ourselves? If someone beats themselves up we consider that person to have some mental issues. Likewise we consider people who beat up their spouses to have mental issues as well. In a healthy relationship, we edify one another, that is we say good things about one another, and help each other with our burdens. As the proverb goes, Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. (Proverbs 12:18)
A very powerful statement, And "don't sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry"(Ephesians 4:26), this can be so important for a husband and wife, or even a dating couple. Even if you believe you are right, even if you are 100% convinced that you are the correct one in the argument... go appologize before you go to sleep. Tell her you are sorry for harboring ill feelings. That you didn't mean to get so mad at her! The same should be true for the wife. It is amazing how beautiful a relationship becomes when one puts their spouses feelings above the need to be 'correct' at all times.
One other thing to consider, is where your spouse is coming from when he/she comes to you with advice. It's really difficult sometimes to know that they mean the best, or that their heart was really where it should have been. Often times one explodes instead of receiving their counsel. The hardest thing in the world is when you think your wife is disappointed with you, or when you think your husband is upset for some reason. Try to understand where he/she is coming from. Is it from a warm place in their heart? Even if they aren't good at vocalizing it in a polite way, are they really just trying to love you? To show you they pay attention to your action? They respect your opinion? Remember that your wife/husband should be your BEST friend. There should never really be a need to go somewhere else for the companionship that you should already have with that spouse. I'm not saying you shouldn't have friends, just that we should never be going to others for the things that we should be getting in our marriage.
What do I mean by that? I mean that if you need intimacy, someone to share something private with, it should be your spouse. You shouldn't be sitting at the computer late at night sharing with a stranger though the internet something you haven't even told your significant other. You shouldn't be taking phone calls on your cell phone that your wife has no knowledge of, and that you have no intention of telling her. Nor should you be having meetings that your wife/husband does not know about, say when you are out of town working, or they are.
Remember carefully this following verse, from the letter to the Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Put your name in the place of love, and see if you are doing it right. Would your spouse say you are patient? Would he/she say your are kind? Would they say you are not irritable? Would your spouse say you are quick to forgive? Would your spouse say you do not boast or are humble? Would he/she say your polite to her at all times?
Remember, more especially, love never gives up! You should never give up! You should always be trying to make your spouses life as pleasant as possible, and sharing your dreams! Your heartfelt desires! Your passions for God! As St. Peter said, Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)