are many kinds of love but today we will focus on love within marriage.
The conjugal relationship is one that gives opportunity for unlimited
self giving but its ingredients are extremely volatile.
us look at the female side. When Vicki came to study nursing in the
city she felt excited by her many new experiences there, but she was
also very lonely and fearful. Soon she found Rex who was handsome,
strong and made her feel good. Their relationship grew over the years
and she yielded to his desire for sex. However, in their third year
together she noticed an aloofness in him and confronted him with the
change. He admitted that there was another girl in his life that he
could not give up. He asked her for one last intimacy and in a last
effort to hold him she consented. Now she feels bitterly cheated and
story tells of a woman's great need for a strong man in her life.
She needs the relationship. She is possessive and wants it to be exclusive.
She will give anything - often even be willing to be a number two
- just to hold her man.
what about the male side? There is a story about a bishop who went
to the doctor. The doctor said, "I will have to take a look at
your unruly member." At this the Bishop began to open the zipper
of his trousers. "Oh, no!" said the doctor, "I only
wanted to look at your tongue!"
knows his unruly member and the sex urge is often so great that he
will act in a very unruly way because of it. He is willing to give
some intimacy and form a relationship to have it. He is looking for
a mate. Exclusivity, fidelity, and intimacy are values he finds hard
to understand even though he may have vowed them in a Church sacrament.
conjugal or marriage relationship starts will strong drives to fulfill
selfish needs. It's doubtful if it can be called love at all. Love
only comes in when there is a decision to reach beyond the self.
can be an arena of battle just as much as it can be a relationship
of ecstatic self giving. It is no joking matter. Women complain of
the infidelity of their husbands. The are in deep fear of the loss,
and the insult to their egos, of betrayal by the man to whom they
have given all. Men complain of the domination of their wives who
want to control their lives, their money, their friends, their all.
They sometimes say that they are forced to find consolation elsewhere
because of the domestic hell created by their insecure wives.
in the Gospel Jesus tells us "I give you a new commandment: Love
one another. Just as I have loved you, you also must love one another."
Jesus' love was one in which he transcended personal needs. He gave
himself even unto death for those whom he loved. Jesus said, "love
one another as I have loved you." What can we say about his love.
It was a love that was attentive to the poor and the needy. There
is poverty and neediness in each of us as we have illustrated in the
stories of Vicki and Romeo. We have to be conscious of the strong
desire for union as well as the destructive selfishness that is in
each of us. It is only when we accept our own destructive capacity
that we can look understandingly at the same in our partner. A loving
consciousness of our own tendency towards evil generally leads to
more healthy behavior. Violent condemnation of self or of others seldom
was deeply forgiving. He even forgave his executioners. He forgave
the disciples who abandoned him in his hour of trial. A similar forgiveness
is necessary if marriage is to be a place of transcendent love rather
than an arena of battle. The test of forgiveness is this: No matter
how you quarrel, in the future this issue can never be mentioned again.
If it can be mentioned again then you have not forgiven, you have
only buried your ammunition!
took time out to be present to himself and to his Father. In this
he got the strength to be lovingly present to those who were not at
all lovable. In the stillness of daily meditation, busy husbands and
wives too will get the strength at the center which will make it possible
for them to overcome their natural fears and compulsions and to become
forgiving, caring and loving to each other.