Thursday, March 25, 2010

Perfect Unity

Loneliness has been called the great disease of our age. Ironically, the worst of the epidemic is where people are most crowded together--the cities where that other great modern illness called workaholism runs rampant and steals time needed to introduce oneself to the neighbors, where everyone is presumed to have a hidden agenda and few dare strike up a casual conversation on the street. And where the single people come by the thousands: those fresh from school, to find jobs; those newly single, to forget or hide; all, leaving behind the friends and family they knew. Many a one-night stand, many a cohabitation, and many a bad marriage owes its start to utter desperation for human contact.

Perhaps this phenomenon is partly responsible for the blow that marriage's reputation has suffered in recent decades. For many people, the fear of being alone forever is matched by the fear that giving one's whole self to another will ultimately lead to an even more painful loneliness. Practically every week, we hear of someone--often someone we know personally--for whom "till death do us part" proved empty words or came considerably sooner and more painfully than expected. We may well have been that person ourselves. Small wonder that many opt for the "solution" of settling for physical intimacy without commitment, or for a "trial period" that stretches on for month after uncertain month. It can take years to realize that the "solution" is really the worse problem, by which time irreparable damage is already done.

Thankfully, in God's Kingdom no damage is ultimately irreparable. This applies especially to the first great damage, done on the day of the Fall when loneliness first entered the world, when human beings became alienated from God, from Creation, and from one another. All marriage problems have their root in the day Adam let Eve coax him into trying just one little bite. Hardly surprising that God's final redemption of His people is frequently compared in Scripture to the consummation of a marriage: it will be akin to what that first marriage originally was, with no barriers of selfishness to cause misunderstandings or arguments.

In the meantime, if you're blessed with a happy or even decent marriage, remember to thank God rather than whining that your spouse isn't everything you wanted. And, if you aren't married, to look to God for fulfillment rather than demanding He deliver your life partner immediately. Marriage--and all human relationships--are only a reflection of the perfect relationship we were all meant to ultimately find in the Lord.

God made one man and one woman
When the human race He began;
The man was there for the woman,
And the woman made for the man.

That day, all earth's sin was future
And the pain of doubt was unknown,
And love was perfect in beauty,
No one needing to feel alone.

God made us all for each other,
And us all His own family;
So hearts still long for the coming
Of uniting Eternity.

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