In the last two blogs, I have looked at the times when we should make ourselves fade to the background as far as guidance in a relationship goes, and when it would be inappropriate to do so. That is to say I have shared my reflections on letting go too soon, and holding on too long. Now I would like to turn my attention to the one relationship that both people involved should never endeavor to become superfluous. That relationship is marriage.
I will admit upfront that I am fully aware of my mortality, and as such I believe that my wife would be best served if I help her to see that I am not needed, as much as I am desired to be needed. That means she wants to need me, as I want to need her. The need we have for someone must be voluntary if it is to be a healthy, and long lasting relationship. If we need our spouse to such an extant that we literally could not live without them, then our relationship is not healthy, nor is it glorifying to God.
A God glorifying marriage is one in which service to each other is a top priority. We cannot do this if we are seeking to become unneeded. Nor can we do this by seeking our own ends. If we put ourselves first, then service to our spouse will be pushed to second or worse. Whether we recited our own vows, or the traditional ones, we accept the task of loving our spouse, and showing them Christ in our interactions with them. Our goal must be to enrich their life with ours. This cannot be done if we are trying to find an out, or even if we are trying to find a point where we are less responsible to and for them.
As a husband, I cherish my wife. To me she will always be my beautiful bride. It would be inconceivable for me to shy away from my responsibilities to her as her husband, though I find that I have done this on more occasions than I care to think about. That fact is that we all do this from time to time. We desire to have less responsibility. We want to be needed less. We want a break. The problem comes in when we actually give in to the idea that being needed less by our spouse would be a good thing. (Remember that I am referring to a healthy need, in a healthy relationship.)
If we are to think rightly about our spouse needing us less, then it would be much like our arm or leg deciding that they are needed far too much, and would like to be wanted less. This is where the “two become one flesh” comes into play. Though our spouse may not be our whole world (in the sense that we could, if they were called home, live on without them), we should be as one flesh. To be needed less, or even worse removed, should be as odd as wondering how we would get along without our hands or feet. Our desire should be to serve with the love of Christ. After all, we are here to shine the light of Christ to the world, and who better to start with then the person we have promise to love.
Until next time, may God shower you with grace and love abundant, that you may in turn shower your spouse and the world with His incredible blessings.