Helpful Marital Analogies

The book and Sunday School class, Sacred Marriage, has been a helpful one for my conception of marriage and my practice of being a married person.  Starting with the premise that marriage is designed to make us holy (God-centered) rather than happy (me-centered), it has been of particular use in introducing me to two powerful analogies that have assisted me in understanding how I am to be as a husband.

The first is to consider God as my father-in-law.  Being a father to a daughter, it is not hard to think about what a father-in-law hopes for his daughter and his son-in-law, which is that his son-in-law treats his daughter with the utmost respect, lives sacrificially and honorably with her, and seeks her best interests.  It is something I pray my future son-in-law will take seriously when he takes my daughter's hand in marriage, and it is something real that I can contemplate as I consider how to be a good husband to my wife.

The first is to consider lust a form of predation.  When we lust in our flesh for a woman besides our own wife, we are taking a good and pleasing instinct - sexual pleasure - and perverting it in two ways.  First, we are going out of bounds in seeking someone outside of the relationship we covenanted before God and others.  Second, we are seeking to satisfy ourselves at the expense of another, instead of seeking to satisfy ourselves in relationship with and in service to another.  When I lust, I have literally become a predator, preying on flesh in singular pursuit of carnal pleasure.  This is a far more dangerous, disgusting, and dissatisfying imagery than what I have tended to conjure up in response to a temptation to lust, especially when contrasted with the beauty, sanctity, and deep satisfaction of partaking in sexual intimacy as our Maker intended for us.

Analogies are powerful teachers.  They can help you take concepts that are hard to master and boil them down to stark images that help you to advance.  I have found these two to be that for me in my thoughts on and living out of the married life.

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