Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Husband and Wife (08/08/14)
TITLE: E Duo Unum – E Unum Pluribus
By Noel Mitaxa
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Well, thank you for asking, because it does matter.
Though times have changed in the decades since our wedding photos were taken, so have we. Four grown-up kids and four grandchildren have deepened and stretched our love. As my title translates: â€śFrom two: one; from one: manyâ€ťâ€•and who knows many moreâ€•since grandchildren are Godâ€™s reward for us not strangling our teenagers...
Is there a secret to staying together when our peers separate or get divorced? Or when the nest empties and two people can discover differences emerging from beneath all the activity of earlier timesâ€•and thereâ€™s less energy or income to indulge in activities that could replace facing up to these differences?
Is staying together really enough, when thereâ€™s still so much room to keep on growing together?
While there is the one secretâ€•of respecting the fact that we belong to each other in the mystery of being one fleshâ€•there are so many ways to express this respect.
This is why I advise couples to get to know couples whose marriages they respectâ€•especially older couplesâ€•for this will build their perspective beyond their own special dreams. These connections with have other positive spin-offs, for these older couples discover how God can use their marriages to provide strength beyond their own familiesâ€•which underscores the pluribus that we started with.
But back to the â€śe dou unumâ€ťfor a moment; as two families come together in the planning, celebrating and integrating that marriages usher into existence. Will two different backgrounds compete with each other? Or will they complete each other?
They will compete any time tensions are compounded through sickness or time shortages; when we naturally resort to our default positions.
However the competition is prolonged if we donâ€™t respectfully and honestly take time to discuss our separate backgrounds. For this honesty allows us to unwrap ways to build on past strengths and to starve weak points; so we may keep completing each other.
But ultimately, whoâ€™s in charge? Is the husband head of the wifeâ€•and the wife the neck that moves the head? The submission of Ephesians 5:21 is mutual; urging us to submit to each other out of love for Christ, to give him room to draw us together into his best direction for us. Then we may free him to strengthen us as individuals and in the intimacies that keep us growingâ€•with neither one of us needing to know all the answers or have all the authority.
For with Christ as our head, even our imperfect marriage can still be part of his force of creative nourishment in a world that hungers for stability across communities and nations.
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