When my nephew was about 3 years old, he was trying to explain something to my father-in-law who was just not getting what the kid was trying to say. In response to his grandpa's question, “Where is this thing that you’re talking about?” my nephew screamed, “In the woom (couldn't’t say his r’s) you!!”
Remembering this made me think of how a family really should be like a womb. We should at birth be making a transition from one place of physical and emotional warmth and safety to another place of physical and emotional warmth and safety. Instead and unfortunately it is often far, far from this ideal. Even in homes that are known as “Christian” sometimes no one is safe from wounding or threat of abandonment. And it would be easy to say that the fix is simply to quit wounding or to quit divorcing. If it were only that easy.
The problem of course is that for our families to be places of safety, we’d need to become the kind of people who don’t WANT to wound or abandon. We need to become the kind of people for whom wounding or abandoning is simply not an option. This is nowhere more true than in the marriage relationship. Sadly our society is becoming one where we don’t even know HOW to be married.
Many vows seem to be a declaration of love (infatuation) as opposed to a promise of commitment to love.
In more and more cases, we’ve become two people simply living under the same roof, waiting for the other one to make us happy. People no longer understand the concept of being one - this with no thanks to pagan society and in many cases even the Church that these people attend. Both society and the Church (which is increasingly taking its cues from society) are losing the ability, desire and the resources to teach oneness. Instead of seeing an entire culture’s loss of ability to love as cause for alarm, society instead sees a tolerance for divorce and serial relationships, as well as partnering with whomever seems like a good choice at the time as an advancement in sophistication; it’s seen as something to be celebrated.
To be married is to give oneself to another person without regard for the response of the other. It is truly a surreal experience to sit with a “Christian” couple and fail in convincing them that they should be nice to each other, to fail in convincing these Christians that obeying Jesus, rather than disobeying Him is the right and expedient thing to do.
“Will you love . . .” was asked in the traditional wedding vows. Will you give of yourself regardless of wealth or poverty, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse.” Will you provide a womb of safety for your partner within which s/he can learn to grow in love and mercy and grace and a perpetual state of forgiveness. I’m afraid that what was once the norm is now seen as quaint and perhaps even naive. Willful submission, one to another in pagan eyes is seen as foolishness and weakness and so we have what we have. A world where “the love of many will grow cold.”