“Inspired by the Holy Spirit,” Pope Francis said, “[Saint] Paul affirms that the love between spouses is an image of the love between Christ and the Church – an unthinkable dignity!” (General Audience May 6, 2015, referring to Ephesians 5:25).
The word “dignity” is sometimes misused to mean “I have the right to believe whatever I want to believe and ask for whatever I want, and you need to respect that.” But this so-called “dignity” is nothing like the love between Christ and his followers, the Church.
True dignity is the honor of being made in the image of God (which happened to every person ever conceived) and being reborn from sin into righteousness, from selfishness to love, accepting the great sacrifice Jesus made for us when he laid down his life for us and desiring to love others the same way.
In marriage, as followers of Christ, we lay down our lives, our agendas, and our personal desires for our beloved. Pope Francis said, “Speaking of the new life in Christ, Saint Paul says that all Christians are called to love one another as Christ has loved them, namely ‘subject to one another, (Ephesians 5:21), which means at the service of one another.”
The “unthinkable dignity” that we have in a Christ-centered marriage is the wonderfulness of being like Christ in our undying love as well as our sacrificial love for our spouse and our family.
- What are ways that I have laid down my life for my family?
- What is missing when a person is married to someone who is not a follower of Christ?
Strengthen your relationship:
In light of God’s Radical Love for you, think about the ways he has served you: through answered prayer, guidance, hope in difficult situations, an encouraging word spoken through a friend, a timely word spoken through a stranger, etc. Share in a prayer of thanksgiving for all of these blessings. Next, think about ways you have given or you could give the same sort of service to your spouse, your family, and others. End with a prayer for discernment and inspiration from the Holy Spirit to identify and implement these ways of sharing God’s love.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries