First of all, I apologize for not having posted in a while. School is school. Yes, I’m leaving that tautological statement.
A certain sister has mentioned to me how she has been thinking how, if God does not quickly find me a wife, every sister in Christ around me of marriageable age will have to suffer the Lue-Yee Wife Test, presumably as I “pick at each one, wondering, “Wife? Wife? Wife?”. That just sounds disgustingly woeful, the thought of running all girls through the test”, and it is a thought that makes the heart shudder. It’s just as dehumanizing, objectifying and insulting as the other ways that men do this to women. No! May it never be!
Mental wife shopping. Is that what it is? Does one not, in so doing, fall under the same dangers as those befallen in serial dating? There is no advantage to this, and women are not cars. This is the peril of imposing our own criteria while neglecting what God chooses.
It has been said, “Don’t settle for being a king if God calls you to be an overseas missionary “. Is it not the same with a wife? We must not settle for a spiritually phenomenal, visually model-like and talented person as a “trophy spouse”, setting up “standards” for “who can be my spouse”, if God has prepared us to serve somebody else. What if God even wills for me to be married to a sister in Christ who has fornicated and has since repented? If so, who am I to reject God’s will, and who am I not to forgive another of her former sins that have since been cleansed or her faults that have since been filled with God’s grace? So, then, truly it is about a godly relationship that stimulates our spiritual life by directing us more and more to Christ, while mere qualities do nothing, even seemingly usable things such as unbroken hymen, &c., &c.
Love covers a multitude of faults, because we know that it is God Who first loved us: this agape from God is unable to be contained, in our joy, and so it must flow over also to whomever God loves. Love does not ignore sin: in fact, if we care for the spiritual well-being of a brother or sister we must speak the truth in love, alerting them to something against which to struggle. But what even God no longer judges we cannot judge, even more so than with that which we do not know but God still sees, the unconfessed and unaddressed sin.
Agape from the Lord overflows from our cups to the wife (or, if you are a woman, the husband) in the compenetration of the two becoming one flesh, and the desirous eros, rather than being directed to the spouse, is perhaps to be bound together with the spouse’s in a shared, even single, yearning for God and thirst for His Word and desire for His greater glory, that we might give even more of His agape of the cross that transcends all understanding. After all, we must be filled by God, not by our spouse, for in marriage we serve. Or as a friend puts it, “We have nothing to give unless we are full of God. Otherwise, we [will] be draining the life out of every relationship trying to ‘fill’ that hole with [our] expectations [of] the other person”. It is God’s eros, too, that binds the two together into one, one before His throne, one in purpose, one in spirit.
Yet we do not desire God singly in eros, for that is wanting God all for ourselves, something to which we have no right, but mysteriously, God desires our love and demands that it be His alone. Who is Christ’s bride? It is not the individual believer but His church. Thus eros must flow together with agape to be anything but wayward abuse of the right use of eros. Only when eros is united with the purpose of agape, which, radiating in exact submission to His will and His understanding, is also the purpose of God, is it right before Him. How, then, can a marriage before God but overflow in love in greater abundance than when the formerly two were apart? It is the very love between spouses that enables them together to serve God toward and through God’s beloved with greater strength than before.
And the thought, the speech, the meaning, of God, this is precisely the Logos Himself. God is love, and the result of attempts to separate the two is a caricature of love, a mockery of what God has instituted. Neither, then, will two fallen and adopted children of God be able to love each other fully without the divine fullness of Christ, who has ransomed both by His blood and healed both by His stripes and has loved both with a heart pierced through by the spear of a soldier.
Eros separated from agape in marriage is a wretched shadow of itself, for it does not have life without agape. Has eros ever existed without agape? Did God ever desire anything from us before He first gave of Himself? For is not His very creation of our human race an expression of His agape? And when there is nothing there to be desired, eros is but a shriveled thing, dead and useless.
May our Lord keep our love whole, just as His love is whole, that it may not degenerate into cupidity, the sinful desire for what is not ours, i.e. the mental basis of stealing. In desiring other people without God’s Logos for it we desire another without agape, and without agape we desire in vain, and sinfully at that.
What sins, say we, are we committing to desire apart from God’s will? Firstly, in attempting to separate God from love and take from that what we think is love, we are trying to attach that to ourselves and deny God’s sovereignty over it, so we break the first commandment of the ten. Second, in putting anyone on a pedestal over even God, we create graven image that both takes God’s place and warps in our minds the human whom God has made. Third, if we deceive ourselves into thinking that it is from God we take the name of the Lord in vain. Fourth, in picking for ourselves we fail to stay in God’s rest for His timing, so we are breaking the sabbath-rest we have in Him mentioned in Hebrews 4:11. God is our father, and so in forsaking Him in our plans as well as mentally leaving our human parents before the right time we transgress the fifth commandment. Idolatry is adultery, as James points out, not to mention the very real likelihood of mental adultery. Cupidity is by its very nature also stealing in our minds what does not belong to us, and covetousness often comes with it. In acting on an untruth we also embrace the false witness, and so our deed bears witness to the falseness of our selves. Thus, the only of the ten commandments left unbroken is that against murder. Is forsaking the will of God in our search for spousal love ever clean, then? No.
What I Did
I desired when I had nothing for the other person to receive, nothing for me to give that would enrich her. And so to dusty wretchedness went my rebellious mind. I have heard so much of sacrifice and giving, yet I didn’t see to applying it for myself? Oh, most blind, most blind indeed! Lord, fill me with Your love, that I may love and not lust for good things that nevertheless are but part of a person and by doing so defile what should be consecrated to You. I do not know the person, much less the day or the hour. Give me patience, and turn my heart continually to seek You, that Your will might be revealed for and through my life, the life that is from You and to You and for Your glory, for You are the One Who has bought me.