Gashed with honourable scars,
Low in Glory’s lap they lie;
Though they fell, they fell like stars,
Streaming splendour through the sky.
James Montgomery (1771–1854)
The Battle of Alexandria.
Perhaps a more apropriate equine equivalence for dannye
would be surefooted warhorses bearing honorable scars and it's best not to hold these marks against them.
I’ve been married to the same guy for nearly 25 years now and I think I can speak with some wisdom when it comes to relationships. It’s about human beings trusting each other. Great writers like Homer, Shakespeare and William Golding understand this mystery too and have tried to tell us about it across the ages. We still love to retell the stories. This one is about what one man Paul wrote to a group of friends who couldn’t decide what to do about their relationships. He wrote about husbands and wives and marriages in his letters to the Ephesians and had this to say to the wives:
Submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
I am a deeply disillusioned product of the feminist movement and have struggled long and hard with that verse, one time I even got up and walked out of the middle of a homily
about it. You would think it would have been a Baptist preacher, but no, it was a priest.
Here is what Paul says to the husbands:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-- for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
This is marriage
in a nutshell. It is a religious sacrament
and the cause of a lot of political debate in Congress right now. Personally I think the government has violated the Establishment Clause
by only giving married partners legal rights, but that’s not what this write up is about.
So Paul uses the word submit for the wives and love for the husbands. Well submit makes sense if his statement is put in the context of his times. Marriages were arranged and men could legally kill their wives on a whim. They still do in that part of the world. Today a better word might be trust.
However, I want to show you what is missing. Paul never says for the wives to love their husbands and I have spent no small amount of time wondering why. It was a profound mystery of submitting being okay but, what about love? Why doesn’t Paul tell me to love my husband? Well I have finally figured it out. I know why and I am going to tell you. Look at what Paul says again to the husbands:
One has only to look at any marriage that has lasted a significant period of time and they will find a man who has worked hard
to love his wife. The genius of Paul’s profound mystery is that it is applicable to any relationship
between two human beings. Whether it’s between a man and a woman, a parent and a child, a gay couple, a group of friends or Christian and non-Christian. Paul doesn’t have to tell
me to love
my husband, because I couldn’t help but love
someone who is willing to die for me.
I hope that helps Marci.