Know your self first
The key to knowing your spouse is knowing your own self first. It is only in God that we discover ourselves. As God reveals more of Himself to us we begin to understand more of ourselves. As we understand more of ourselves, we begin to understand others. If you seek to understand your spouse, begin by seeking God whole-heartedly.
The mystery of Man and woman
The uniqueness of man and woman can only be understood in the mystery of the Trinitarian God. Creating human beings in his own nature, God made them man and woman. The union of man and woman points to the unitive and procreative nature of God’s love. The desire to give one self totally to the other is engraved in our bodies. The language, our bodies speak is that of self-donating love. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. [Mathew 16:25]
Through disobedience humanity experienced sin and it left us wounded and broken. Jesus restored and redeemed us through his self-donating love on the cross. In Jesus we understand that our spouses are as broken and wounded as we are. So we commit ourselves to love despite each other’s weaknesses. Remember, Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. [Rom 5:8]
The need to understand our spouse is not so that we can manipulate and get from her/him what we want. Instead this knowledge helps us change and be transformed so as to selflessly serve her/him as Christ served the church.
God is the initiator of love. We are able to love because God loved us first. It is always God who takes the first step. God placed man as the head of the wife to initiate love and forgiveness just as Jesus does. Woman on the other hand is the receptacle. She prepares, receives and nurtures the gift of love that is initiated by man and bears forth fruit. Woman’s role in marriage reflects that of the Church. It is love that enables man to protect, defend and uphold the dignity of woman. It is the tender love of woman that holds together the whole family and intern the humanity itself.
Know your weaknesses
When we expose our lives to the light of Christ, our imperfections are revealed. As we become aware of our own imperfections, we become more patient with the imperfections of others. God would use our spouses to shed light on many more of our weaknesses. Do not resist or react but accept the corrections in humility as if from God, and ask your spouse to help you in the process of change.
Let your mission drive you
Our primary mission is to know, love and serve God and lead others to do the same. As married couple our mission is to lead to eternal home those whom God has entrusted to us. We must become helpers to each other; helping our spouses in their weakness to hold on to God and teaching them to seek their consolation from God alone. Remember no woman or man can ever fulfil our deepest needs, except God.
Full knowledge however is not necessary
Just as God is a mystery and we are incapable of knowing Him fully, we who are created in his image and likeness are also a mystery. Neither our parents nor our spouses are able to understand us fully. A full knowledge however is not necessary for a faithful married life just as we need not fully know God to submit and commune fully with Him.
Every person is unique and thus every marriage is unique too. Married life offers us unending opportunities to discover and rediscover each other’s uniqueness. If we are humble, open and teachable, foreknowledge of the spouse is insignificant. The knowledge we gain through persevering in love despite failures and bad responses is what is truly valuable to our marriage. The transformation this hard earned knowledge brings about in our relationship is pivotal.
Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith [Heb 12:1-2]