He Will Make You A Suitable Partner

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The first reading from Genesis (2: 18-24) mentions twice the words suitable partner. And God even takes the responsibility to make a suitable partner for Adam and for every couple today.  Allow him and he will get you a good help mate.  What is a suitable partner?  One who always agrees with you, one who is always submissive?  I doubt it.  A good partner would be one who would help you to be a better Christian, a better person, even a saint.  He or she might be your opposite, at least in some respects.  He or she would help you to change, to develop yourself as a man or woman and grow in your love for God.

A wise German theologian said about relationships and marriage that it really starts when all your projections of how the other person should be fall apart.  The marriage really begins when you love him/her as they are, not as you want them to be.  That is Christian love.

One of the Fathers of the Church said it is beautiful for the wife to see Christ in the husband.  And for the husband to see in his wife the Church.  The Church like the wife is feminine, it is open and receiving to others, it welcomes new life from its womb or baptismal font.  It is a wonderful image that coincides with St. Paul’s preaching on marriage: husbands love your wife as Christ loves the Church.  He loves the Church by giving up his life for her.

When Christ is present in Christian marriage, he heals the spouses.  We all have wounds and through marriage and family life these wounds arise and can be healed through the grace of God.  It takes many years but a partner with faith helps the other to grow in good habits in dealing with the kids, and in many other aspects of family life. St. Raphael leads Tobias to his future wife and through the organs of a fish, a symbol of Christ, the demons surrounding Sarah flee and the blindness of his father Tobit is cured.  The Book of Tobit gives wonderful advice on marriage.  It is a must-read for couples.

Christian marriages that are rooted more in the Church are much more fruitful.  Look for ways to bring Christ more into your family life.  Perhaps this can be done well at the dining room table.  To pray before meals, to have the family gather every night, or often, and to let it be a time of communion, of conversation where Christ is also present.  This takes time, but the kids will always cherish those memories.

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