The Cross and Marriage

I finished reading an excellent book this morning that will probably require me to go back through it and mine for more of its treasures. Its entitled “Grace in Practice” by Paul F. Zahl.

Here is a passage on Marriage that was especially compelling;

The feelings leading to marriage are aroused by the physical and romantic ecstasy resulting from being discovered, in one’s true hidden existence, by another person. This is the thesis concerning grace in relation to marriage: Being known in weakness is the origin of marriage. Marriage, in other words, depends on a theology of the cross rather than a theology of glory.

If you are married or were married, remember the origin of your marriage. The root and foundation of the relationship was the discovery by another of your true but hidden self. You disclosed yourself. The disclosure lit a fire that gave off a lot of heat. A “purely” sexual relationship did not have this fire. But the sexual relationship that accompanied the disclosure did. It led to your desire to be married.


Sometimes when asked about marriage I say the one thing that I was truly not ready for, or could not have understood beforehand, is the exposure. In marriage there is just a light shown into every corner of your life, and the faults that you gloss over as a single person are suddenly brought out into the open like never before. I think in fact before marriage I thought I was somewhat kind, generous, patient, humble, and considerate. I guess I did not listen to closely to my four roommates from college! But when you get married your spouse truly sees you for who you are good and bad. I could not imagine going through this experience without endless amounts of grace. My wife has been ever so gracious to me over our years of marriage and I am a better man for it. But it is in this intimate relationship of giving and receiving grace that I have understood the Cross more, and also been truly known by another person.


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