Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Marriage is not a lifelong attraction of two individuals to each other, but a call for two people to witness together to God's love. The basis of marriage is not mutual affection, or feelings, or emotions and passions that we associate with love, but a vocation, a being elected to build together a house for God in this world....

...The real mystery of marriage is not that husband and wife love each other so much that they can find God in each other's lives, but that God loves them so much that they can discover each other more and more as living reminders of God's presence."
- Henri Nouwen - Clowning in Rome

It's not often that I'll post quotes up here, just because it's MY blog, and I feel like anyone can go anywhere else and find good thoughts from other people. But I really enjoy this section of Henri Nouwen's writing.

For anyone who's married, especially the Jesus-loving male...there's a pressure. On the worlds' side, the pressure to create within your marriage this "whirlwind" of romantic experiences, to where if all you do some nights is lay on the couch eating cheez-its; you feel like maybe you're a bad husband. On the churchs' side, the pressure to enforce strict family prayer/devotion/bible reading schedules on a daily basis; to where if you'd rather relax watching X-Men 3 again than seeing what Leviticus chapter 3 says....you feel like maybe you're a bad christian. (if you're interested, Leviticus 3 discusses the sacrifice of animals, and actually says towards the end "All fat is the Lords'". Does that mean if I gain weight, I'm holier, or less holy? :) )

It's freeing to remember that it's not about either extreme alone. Sure, moments of these things will inevitably end up in our families from time to time. But overall, it's our life together. Our lives that come together, pointing to God, creating a space between them for Him to actually reside...a Home. This is family. This is what I pray Addison grows up experiencing. This is how I hope I can love my wife. This is how I pray I can love my God...

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