A very wise young man once blew my mind by pointing out a fundamental reality in our fallen world: God made all things good and Satan tries to turn good things evil. Satan can create nothing. All he can do is use his superior intellect to twist our perception of reality to make good appear evil, truth look like lies, the attractive repulsive. He loves to use our emotions, good things, to further befuddle us.
God made marriage. Marriage is good. God made sex. Sex is good. Marriage reflects the unity of the Triune God and the bond between Christ and the Church, so it is a profound good for the world, even without the economic and social stability marriage generates. It is good for the persons involved, too. It takes immature, self-centered creatures and matures them, making their lives outwardly focused on another. With sex in the equation, it also makes them parents, which furthers the process of maturation.
God the Father loves the Son perfectly and completely: so much so it is personified in the Holy Spirit. Your love and your husband’s love is meant to be that beautiful. Your love will grow larger than the two of you, something you will both stand in awe of. In fact, the world will wonder at it, writing news articles about love after 75 years
. In fact, marital love personifies, too–in your children.
Speaking of sex: the more selfless it is, the better. The more you lose yourself in your spouse and let go, the more amazing it is. On a fundamental level, sex is about surrendering to each other and becoming one, if even imperfectly. The hormones involved, oxytocin especially, are designed to cement a bond between husband and wife so that each sexual encounter–be it a romp under the covers or merely the promise of one in a look and a wink shot across a table crowded with cranky children and schoolwork–produces oxytocin and other hormones to reinforce the chemical, emotional, and spiritual bonds between husband and wife. That is very, very good.
That’s why Satan hates it. You and your spouse are created in the image and likeness of God. Marriage speaks to the world about the Nature of God. Since Satan cannot hurt God, he will hurt you, His image, or your marriage, His reflection. Satan will interfere with your marriage in any way inhumanly possible. If he can’t end the marriage, he will mar it to make it as imperfect a reflection of God as he can entice the two of you to make it.
God knew you and His purpose for you from The Beginning (Jerimiah 1:5
, Romans 8:29
). You and your spouse have been called to the Sacrament of Marriage from the moment God created the world. Satan, being a spirit, exists outside of physical time. He is not bound by our bonds. He can see you married when you are still a speck in your mother’s womb. He knows your spouse before you have even met. He will work on you and your husband from birth until death to interfere with your marriage. He will encourage you, a woman, to damage your ability to bond with your spouse by enticing you to sexual encounters without commitment so that you will come to marriage untrusting, numbed and scarred. He will entice your future husband to view women’s bodies as tools for his sexual fulfillment, separating the act of sex from the bonds of marriage and keeping him emotionally and sexually immature and unable to approach true manliness. (The Damage of Sexual Promiscuity
|Satan insinuates himself into your marriage to make less room for God
But God teaches us forgiveness, repentance, and self-sacrifice. God heals. As damaged as you come to the marriage bed, there is hope. As harmed as your marriage may be by sins against it, infidelity, lust, selfishness, God infuses the Sacrament of Marriage with abundant Graces to heal you both. All you need is God. All God wants is you.
|Make yourself precious, like jewels.
Open your heart to God and to your husband. By this openness, you will allow Grace to flow into your marriage. Be prayerfully aware of God and set your selfish impulses to ignore, belittle, or bemoan the needs of your husband at the foot of the Cross. If he wants you to bring him a cup of coffee, serve Him by serving him. If he wants you to cuddle up on the couch after the kids are asleep, serve Him by accommodating him. If your marriage is damaged, use your love of God to rebuild it. If your husband is so damaged as to be numb to your needs, let God heal that. Help Him heal your marriage by taking up arms with Him to fight for your husband’s heart. Send a barrage of roses against the fortress your husband has built against you; flood his life with so many small acts of love that he drowns in it. Surrender to God to win the war for your husband’s heart. Make him gasp at the beauty of Love.
Who knows? Maybe your husband has been trying to do the same for you for years.
Your emotions, your desires, and your impulses must be under your guidance. Your guidance must be under God. If you do not guide your impulses, if God does not guide them, you will be manipulated and enslaved by them. Do not surrender your will to your emotions. Unite your will to God’s will, even when your emotions have a will of their own.
Your marriage can work. It can fulfill you, but only if you let God in.
Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
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