Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Fullness of life, liberty and joy in marriage

In the intimacy of marriage you offer yourself, continually and gladly. When you give yourself to your husband, you are actually giving him life. You are putting meaning into his life which was not there before and willy nilly (this is one of the most astonishing and beautiful of the inescapable facts) you find meaning in your own life because of this sacrifice. Your husband, loving you as Christ loved the Church--that is, laying down his life for you--gives you life and puts meaning into his own. An inexorable spiritual principle is set in motion. It is not the laying down that occupies your thoughts; it is the joy. Christ, when He endured the Cross, knew the joy that was set before Him.

You can't talk about the idea of equality and the idea of self-giving in the same breath. You can talk about partnership, but it is the partnership of the dance. If two people agree to dance together they agree to give and take, one to lead and one to follow. This is what a dance is. Insistence that both lead means there won't be any dance. It is the woman's delighted yielding to the man's lead that gives him freedom. It is the man's willingness to take the lead that gives her freedom. Acceptance of their respective positions frees them both and whirls them into joy.

If you can understand your womanhood in this light, you will know fullness of life. Hear the call of God to be a woman. Obey that call. Turn your energies to service. Whether your service is to be to a husband and through him and the family and home God gives you to serve the world, or whether you should remain, in the providence of God, single in order to serve the world without the solace of husband, home, and family, you will know fullness of life, fullness of liberty, and (I know wherof I speak) fullness of joy.

~Elisabeth Elliot, "Marriage is a Gift"


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