“Marriage . . . is not all magic. Husband and wife must work hard at it. If one is making no effort, the other must work twice as hard. Love helps, though it is precisely love that is in danger of losing its elan with so much to depress it; prayer helps tremendously. But, in the purely psychological order, nothing helps so much as the reverence that flows from a right vision of what man is–that this loutish man, this empty-headed woman, is God’s image, an immortal spirit, loved by Christ even to the death of the Cross: whatever the surface looks like, this is in the depth of every human being, this in him is what God joined together with this in her. The realization that there is this welding of two into one in the depths of their being, below the level that the eye of the mind can see, is the most powerful incentive to make that union in depth effective through every layer of personality. This reverence is a safeguard against one of the great dangers of family life–the tendency of one partner to form, or re-form, the other . . . in his [or her] own image. There is a sort of imperialism to which the self is liable, the desire to impose its own likeness. As we have already seen, one should not lightly try to re-make another: but, if re-making there must be, assuredly the only image in which any one should be re-made is the image of God in which he [or she] was made.” Frank J. Sheed
“Above all, love each other deeply,
because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8 NIV
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Do you have a “right vision” of who you are? . . . of your spouse? Take some time to picture your spouse as God’s beloved image-bearer, as one treasured by God.
- Prayer and loving like Jesus (Ephesians 5:25) will also be necessary. Are you praying God’s blessing on your spouse? How does your love for your spouse resemble God’s love for you?
- Do you have an “imperialistic” attitude where you’re insisting on what you know is best for your spouse? Can you humble yourself instead, and allow God to work in your spouse (and in you) in God’s way and time?
Abba, I need your work in me. I’ll leave my spouse to you. Help us both.
For more: Marriage and the Family by Frank J. Sheed
(I am so happy to see the return of these posts).
Thank you. That means a lot. I’ve missed doing it, and I’m definitely ready to begin again. I do it first and most of all for myself. (When I’m really down and I need to pick up something, besides the Bible, I turn back to these posts. Many great ones are in the upcoming book. The publisher told me today it’s available, whatever that means. !!
Thank you for reminding us about who our spouse really is “a child of God” and as a wife so am I. I was once told that when your spouse looks at you he is sometimes like a mirror image revealing things we don’t want to know about ourselves. Sometimes we don’t like what we see in the mirror. We have to be sensitive about those mirror images which should be directed by God himself.
Thanks Robbie. In a perfect world, the look our spouse gives us should be one that encourages us to believe that we are lovable (in spite of what we may think). We others love me as I am, I’m more able to feel the God loves me as I am. I know God does, but knowing it and feeling it can be two different things.