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Monday, August 4, 2014

God in Marriage


Using the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament, Jesus Christ reminds us of the true meaning and worth of marriage: God created man and woman who are to leave their mother and father and unite as one; and what God has brought together as one, must not be separated.

But God created man and woman, having not only different physical aspects, but also different mental, emotional and psychological aspects. The man is single focused and must use his strength and power to provide for the good of his family and for the good of the community in which he finds himself. His lifelong battle is to stay focused on the good he can provide; he must battle against the innate desire for companionship and union with other women.

The woman on the other hand is not single focused but is concerned with many situations and problems that arise within the family; her battle is not to get herself lost in a seeming overload of emotions in dealing with these many difficulties. The good  wife learns to do this while being provided the security and safety she needs from a well focused husband.

A husband can experience a day filled with anxiety and feelings of worthlessness in trying to keep his focus. When this happens, the good wife, in her respect and love for her husband, reassures him of his worth, of his goodness, reminding him of all the good that he has done within the family, for the family and the community outside of the family. In a case such as this a husband can be brought back to his original focus and sense of worthiness.

But if the wife succumbs to her emotions and criticizes and nags her husband he may yield to his weakness, seeking the affection of other women, even in prostitution, to try to restore his true focus; such a choice can lead to a destruction of the marriage. 

On the other hand, if the husband, being criticized and nagged, does not yield to these instinctive desires, the good husband has no other recourse but to turn to God in weeping and confusion, asking for help in restoring his focus. 

If he prays with faith, truly believing that what he asks for will be done for him, the good husband will receive assistance from the Lord, either through the conversion of his wife from her weakness or by his being given the strength to cope with his difficulty without succumbing to his weakness, with the hope his wife will gradually be restored to her strengths through the love of her husband.

The good wife who receives from her husband the love and respect due her, along with the security and safety of the entire family, is best capable of winning her battle to keep her emotions under control. If the husband does not provide these things for his wife and if she does not, in turn, seek these things from another man, she likewise should turn to the Lord for help which she will receive immediately, in some meaningful way, when she prays as Jesus instructs us, to pray believing that what we ask for will be done for us.

One of the best examples in history of a good husband and a good wife in marriage that comes to mind is St. Margaret of Scotland, who having come up from Hungary in the time of the Norman conquest of England by William the Conquerer of Normandy in 1066, journeyed to Scotland and married Malcolm, the King of Scotland. She loved and provided for the poor in the countryside and provided the love and respect for her husband, becoming the mother of three sons who became kings.  Her love was reciprocated by Malcolm in wanting to do whatever she asked for; she died within days of his being killed in battle.

There are other examples of good marriages as the above where the wife, seemingly in the background and having no other effect than taking care of the family concerns, is in reality the prime mover of good accomplished through her husband, by her respect for and reassurance of his worthiness and goodness in his moments of darkness.