“We live in a world today that is largely disposable. If you have a television and it stops working, chances are that you will simply replace it with a bigger and better model. If you have a phone and it is working but a new model is released, there is a good chance that you will dump your existing phone for the newer model. Right? Little wonder, then, that people have also become replaceable in our lives,” says Aneel Aranha, my friend who founded Holy Spirit Interactive, an international Catholic ministry headquartered in India.
Do you know any disposable spouses? Has your relationship been replacement-proofed? Are you aware of any friends or family members who need the reminder that no person is as disposable as the world says we are?
Have you ever felt like your relationship’s problems are not worth the time and effort and sacrifices to fix them?
Aneel describes the very common belief that is affecting many marriages today: “If your relationship isn’t working, don’t waste your time fixing it. Chuck the person and get somebody new. Problem solved! If you come across somebody who seems more attractive and charismatic than your current partner, switch partners just like you would switch phones.”
He continues: “I may have been a little too simplistic, not taking into account other circumstances that might make for a valid case for divorce, like constant abuse or infidelity. The fact remains that marriages these days aren’t quite what God intended them to be, which is a union of people where, in more than a metaphysical way, they cease to be two and become one. But this requires dying to the self, and we are so loathe to do that. It’s all about us — about satisfying our emotional needs, our intellectual needs, our physical needs. And when it’s all about one’s self, how can one genuinely love another? A relationship without real love is dead before it even begins, no matter the vows you make to take the other for better or worse.
“So what’s the solution? Let it not be about one’s self. Let it be about the other. Consider your spouse. Instead of thinking about your fulfillment, you think about her fulfillment. You do what you can to make your spouse happy. Now if your spouse also did the same — not think so much about her fulfillment but yours, what do you think will happen? It’s a miracle waiting to take place! Give it a shot and see.”
- How readily do I spend time thinking about, asking for, and manipulating circumstances for the sake of my own fulfillment? Is it more than I do for my sweetheart?
- In what ways does my sweetheart put me and my happiness first?
Strengthen your relationship:
Explain to each other why you want to focus more on the other than on yourself. Request forgiveness for the times you failed to do this. Then end with a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to strengthen your resolve to do this better than ever.
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© 2018 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries
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