The truth is, counter to what secular society would lead us to believe, only God can meet our core need for love.Countless marriages end up in divorce because people have embraced the crazy notion that the man or woman of their dreams will completely satisfy and fulfill them. If you want to get married, seek the face of God, trust Him and He will drop someone in your path, because marriage is just as much a vocation and a calling as Holy Orders.Once I understood this spiritual dynamic, I quit blaming Michael and pointing out his faults and instead centered on my own need for repentance and growth.
The next year, while travelling across Canada, he stopped in to see a friend who was a parish worker but a note on the door explained Steve had taken his youth group on a picnic.
Michael came over to my house to wait because I lived with Steve’s fiance.
We are a brother and a sister in Christ, fellow children of God who seek His will together.
We have always been on the same page, sensing the next level of growth in our spiritual walk and changing at the same pace. It was growth in maturity and in my faith which healed our marriage because when I quit demanding love from my husband, quit trying to control him, he was set free to love me in freedom and in truth, in the power of the Spirit of God.
Although we laugh at such ridiculous fantasies as the stuff of naive, lovesick teenagers, we all must face the deep temptation within ourselves to seek out a future partner to fulfill all of our needs.
We have been brainwashed by Hollywood’s romantic movies.
I say, “Well, we’ve seen worse, poorer and sickness and we are more than ready for better, richer and healthier.” Then I dissolve into gales of laughter.
I must admit Michael never fails to simply raise one eyebrow in my direction and smile apologetically at our visitors. It has been proven, when people laugh at their foibles and do not take themselves too seriously, their problems suddenly shrink and they in turn gain perspective. This is simply an example of cognitive therapy in action: take a step away from each conflict and looking at the big picture, through the eyes of God.
Society does not prepare people for a Christian marriage. I suggest a multitude of tools from reading insightful books, conferences, retreats, confession, prayer, spiritual direction and counselling which help couples mature and grow together as one in Christ.
As a newlywed, I wish someone had explained to me that in marriage partners irritate each other by pulling out each other’s darkness, bringing their wounds to the surface.
As soon as Michael saw me, he knew I was the one for him.