My wife and I have been married for two years now. We are by no means experts on marriage, but we have talked a lot about the passage from Ephesians that is today’s first reading.
It is a very important reading for our understanding of marriage, and I have heard it preached about a number of times. It is a beautiful passage, that paints the ideal of marriage: two bodies becoming one, the love of a husband for his wife like the love of Christ for his church. It can also be a tricky passage, especially in today’s politically correct climate, with the statement that the husband is the head of his wife.
I think that what we have found to be the greatest challenge is the passage’s central injunction to be subordinate: “be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.” After years of being our own people – very driven people – it is often very difficult. But that sacrifice of the self is at the heart of many of Christ’s teachings, not just about marriage.
It takes practice, and we are certainly not done practicing yet. And I pray that our love can be the self-sacrificing, sanctifying, and giving love that Paul describes.
- Todd Fojo is a former PVI volunteer (Honduras in 2005-2006). He is currently a resident physician at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO