‘I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace’ (Eph 4:1-3)
Paul wrote this letter from a cold dirty cell in the prison in Rome. He was isolated from other people. He longs for the fellowship of the brethren. He tells us about the power of the unity of the Spirit that make relationships to last forever. This advice applies to all friendships in general, and to marriages in particular.
We are on a short visit in the US. Many are confused about marriage. They want to be independent and married in the same time. This is more so here in America. They worship the idol of independence until they become isolated, lonely, confused and sad. To be independent it means to be free from the control, authority or influence of another. It means to be free from the help or resources of another person. This may sound good to some but this attitude is spiritual poison in marriage.
The wives fear submission thinking that they lose their ‘personalities’ as single independent and successful women. The husbands fear to love their wives ‘too much’. This fear keeps all of them on parallel lines never merging into one. Houston is a very busy city. I have seen how the husbands and the wives, each driving their own cars, they roll down the windows and greet in the traffic. They text one another or talk on the phone from the ‘privacy’ of their own cars. Each one laughs or weeps alone. The cars are very many and very beautiful. But there are so few human beings on the streets, talking face to face or hugging each other. This division and separation between people makes them vulnerable and foolish. The devil keeps them ‘independent’ and happy. But this happiness is not deep and does not last.
Marriage is a blessing because it is designed by God who created us. That alone must be the reason why marriage must be happy and fulfilled. It is my opinion that many men and women desire a happy marriage but are confused about the way to achieve that. They are not willing to pay the price for the joy of fulfillment as husbands and wives. Time does not improve matters. Older men and women accept the idea that mid life crisis means adultery and divorce. They say it is normal to abuse and cheat. This is a sad story I see…
This is our testimony… When my heart is overwhelmed with the cares of life and the anxiety of success, when the burden of men and women around me is too much for me to help, I abandon everything and I run… I hide in the everlasting arms of my God. This is the secret of my joy in this world. This is the key of my peace in my marriage. I submit to my husband not only when I feel like or when things are ‘sweet’. I submit to him even when he is tired or angry. Life is generally stressful but both of us have learned to keep the unity of the Spirit no matter the pressure from outside or the frustration from inside. We enter the tunnel of trial together and come out at the other side still one, even closer and stronger. The darkness tries to separate us but we have learned to stay together if we understand the attack or not.
The unity of the Spirit is the most important treasure we have in the marriage. If that is broken, we cannot be happy even if we have children, money or success. That is why we treasure this spiritual unity and are very jealous to protect it. We are directly responsible to God to keep it intact and fruitful. We have to answer to the One who put us together as husband and wife! We have learned to understand one another, to respect and protect each other. We have learned to be patient and gentle, strong and humble with each other. We eagerly and seriously try to keep and maintain this unity in the bond of peace! We do not want to be ‘independent’ and married. We want to be one! We want to be happily married and give glory to God in all we say or do! This is not just our wish for the future but our present living and holy testimony! To a God be all the glory! And that is all that matters!