“Honey, I love you, really, I do. But being married to you is a burden.”
My students were asked to imagine that a husband came home and said this to his wife. Already, there was a bit of disdain in their eyes for the husband.
“Oh, I am? How am I so burdensome?”
“Well, I love you, but sometimes I want to do things and I can’t because of you.”
“There are a lot of attractive and smart women I run into at work and I can’t date any of them. Sometimes I want to just catch a plane and fly to Florida for a week, but I would have to tell you first and you might want to come. You are interesting and wonderful and I love you, but sometimes marriage is restrictive.”
Each time I told this to my students, it worked. They did not think highly of the husband and were, rightfully so, annoyed with his list of burdens.
Wow, they gasp, he is the worst.
But aren’t these things true? I asked my students. He isn’t allowed to date other women, is he?
No, they reply.
Shouldn’t he talk to his wife about flying off to Florida for a week before he does it?
Yes, they say.
So what is wrong about what he is saying? Why shouldn’t he say these things when they are true?
After very little discussion, because it seems so obvious, they tell me that he has the wrong perspective. He isn’t focusing on his relationship with his wife, but simply all the things he cannot do because of his relationship with her.
Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.
Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI
You are correct, I tell them, the husband focuses only on the restrictions of this relationship instead of the love he has for her.
But isn’t this sometimes what we do with God? Continue reading “Honey, I love you, but being married to you is a burden”