one flesh, indivisible
"A man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife, and the two shall become as one." —Matthew 19:5
This "is the case between man and wife" (Mt 19:10):
- A husband loves his wife sacrificially, as Jesus loves us (Eph 5:25). He must give up his life for his wife (Eph 5:25). In imitation of Jesus, he tells his wife: "This is my body to be given for you" (Lk 22:19). Thus, he gives up his schedule, interests, and availability for the good of his wife. He is "occupied with pleasing his wife" (1 Cor 7:33).
- A wife recognizes her husband's position as her head (Eph 5:23). She simply submits to his headship (that is, she orders her life under his) in imitation of Jesus in relation to His Father. In this posture of subordinating her life to his, God works through "the reverent purity of [her] way of life" not only to win over her husband (1 Pt 3:1-2), but even to highlight the way of submission for the whole Church (Eph 5:23-24).
- By visibly loving each other, a husband and wife can convince the world that Jesus loves the Church (Eph 5:32-33). How many people feel that God doesn't care about them? One married couple living under the lordship of Jesus can open their hearts to God's love. Love your spouse, give up your body and your life for your spouse, and lead the world to the love of Jesus.
Prayer: Father, may married couples love each other so much that many people come to realize that Jesus loves them.
Promise: "Let no man separate what God has joined." —Mt 19:6
Praise: St. Maximilian gave his life to save a husband and father.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(If your spouse has passed away, pray about attending our Sept. 11-12 Retreat for the Widowed. Let the Lord fill the void in your life and receive freedom of heart, body, and spirit. Call 937-587-5464 or 513-373-2397 to register or for information.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 11, 2009
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