Sunday, September 19, 2010

I saw brother Zachary's post just now. To be honest, after his past strongly-principled blog posts, I half-expected a post like that of Huanyan's... but his thoughtful and heartfelt musing took me completely by surprise.

And I was very touched. Zach in his inimitable style has condensed everything that I've taken five years of investigation and inquiry to figure out...
"I once had the pleasure of speaking with the groom before he was married. He shared with me that he believed that all it needs for a couple to work out is for both of them to love God, and love each other. His simplistic answer took me by surprise. What about compatibility? Complementary skills, vision and tons of other whatnot I argued. In his opinion, none of them mattered as long as the couple truly love one another and are committed and willing to work out whatever differences there might be."
All I want in my wife is for her to love God, love the church and love me – at the same intensity as I do.

It's a very compact statement, but I think it's profoundly meaningful.

*muses*

I totally agree. =)

Ah. I think this pretty much puts my odyssey of inquiry to rest. :)

How surprising - and how timely. You know, I finally yesterday heard from the sister whom I had expressed my interest in. Her answer was in the negative. But I think through the waiting, God encouraged me. And whoa, someone just left an encouraging comment in my previous post. And more than that, God sent me a dear friend to encourage me last night - with the gift of encouragement no less. :)

It's really not about the manner in which we approach BGR. It's not even about having a whole bunch of principles per se. It's adding on complexity to an already complex situation. While I don't really have any BGR experience, I've been blessed to observe a lot of couples come together and grow in God no matter what background... as long as their hearts were set to honour God and one another.

And I've investigated the Bible for myself. It... really does boil down to just this: Love God totally and love one another as yourselves. While pondering over Zachary's post, I realized that we might, in our sincere and well-intentioned efforts to honour God by having principles and criteria, start losing focus of God's goal for creating marriage in the first place.

Marriage was meant to be a reflection of Christ's love for His Bride (the Church), and to reflect the Church's loving submission to her Husband (Christ). It shouldn't be seen only as a "ministry-tool" to advance the Kingdom of God. It's more than just companionship and living happily ever after. It's even more than a growth-device to help two souls learn to grow in love and unity. It's far more beautifully complex and mysterious than that. It is about the two becoming one.
Eph 5:31-33
As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Frankly, I think some subtle thoughts and heart attitudes (I speak from my own experiences) that can arise are:
i. I must meet these criteria in order for God to bless me with the sister I want.
ii. I want to do God's will and please Him. And having these criteria are a sign of my desire to please and honour God.
iii. If I do the right things, God will bless me in return and our marriage will get off on the right footing and we shall live happily ever after...
iv. I don't want to screw up my relationship and I really want it to go well. I know that God's way is the best, so therefore I'll do it His way.

I think (ii) is not wrong per se. And (iv) is prudent too. The heart is good. But... what is God's way, really? Ah. What is God's definition of "compatibility"? As far as I can tell, only in terms of commonness of love for God and love for others. And if there's conflict in life directions... then the wife has to submit to the husband's leading (as long as it's not against God's will).

I'll quote this again:
"I once had the pleasure of speaking with the groom before he was married. He shared with me that he believed that all it needs for a couple to work out is for both of them to love God, and love each other. His simplistic answer took me by surprise. What about compatibility? Complementary skills, vision and tons of other whatnot I argued. In his opinion, none of them mattered as long as the couple truly love one another and are committed and willing to work out whatever differences there might be."
All I want in my wife is for her to love God, love the church and love me – at the same intensity as I do.

:)

1 comment:

Huanyan said...

I think I will contradict you here a little bit. I will argue that it is all about having a set of principles per se. o_O

Why?

You see, when a couple truly loves one another, what happen? When you want to honor God, what happen? You see, from our previous conversation, I'm not sure if I am correct but you seems to be arguing that there are things more important than having sets and sets of principles and seems to have a certain disdain for such... but why I reach my own set of conclusion? It's because I believe that any couples who truly wants to honor God will adhere to the principles and allow them to set boundaries and provide guidance for their relationship. I dun think principles are burden to a relationship. It's meant to protect the couples.

I seriously feel that having love without boundaries created by the principles simply doesn't work. Out of the love will flow the desire to want to protect. Even what you have quoted, is a set of principles from which the couple was willing to work within.

From there, I will still argue that the manner from which we pursue BGR matters!!!! It matters regardless whether you like it or not.