Auntie Em's Guide to Life

A guide to all the important things in life- marriage, family, cooking, gardening, reading, travel, Christian living… And whatever else grabs my attention!

Carrying Hearts

on June 19, 2017

A young man from my church recently got married and his mom is collecting marriage wisdom from people who have spoken into his life. I’ve known him since he was born, and his parents for about 30 years! This is what I told him, and thought it might speak to some others too.

A poem by e.e. cummings begins

“i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)”

It says a lot about marriage. You have a huge responsibility to care for your spouse- every part of him or her; physical, emotional, work, play.(“I am NEVER without it…”) Everything that Christ says about a Christian’s responsibility to other Christians applies: “Think of the other as more important than yourself” (Phil 2:3) pretty much sums it up. And pay special attention to all the instructions specific to husbands and wives.  (Eph 5:22-29 and 1 Cor 7 come to mind.) Note it doesn’t say do this IF your spouse is fulfilling all of his or her obligations to you. Remember that humans are selfish and there is a natural tendency to hold back, to put yourself first. You have to fight your nature to have a marriage like God intended.

The other side is that you have to trust your spouse enough to give your heart to them to carry. This can be scary because you must be willing to open yourself completely to them, to let them see the real you. You are ONE FLESH (Eph 5:31) (“whatever is done by only me is your doing…”) and we often don’t want to admit our flaws. When we want to hide our ugly from our spouse, many times it’s because we don’t want to admit our sin to ourselves.  The heart is deceitful above all things… (Jer 17:9-10)

But the truth will set you free. (John 8:32) And it will build your marriage into something more beautiful than you imagined, because you follow the plan of the One who created marriage!

Mel and Rand mothers' day

(This is a recent picture of Mr. X and me, enjoying a better marriage than ever after 36+ years.)

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