Rivers of words have been written on the beauty and mystery of marriage and rivers of prayers have been uttered in order to defend it, yet even more rivers of tears have flown as a consequence of people’s misunderstanding of marriage, and, therefore, we shall write on this subject as well, maybe we’ll find someone along the way with ears to hear and a heart to follow this advice.
Marriage resembles the journey of two lovers who go on a trip. Before hitting the road, the two prepare their luggage in advance, so as to take along all the necessary things. The car must have its gas tank full, and should be completely functional and clean. The two love birds rest well before starting off and are joyfully planning trip essentials.
We do the same when we start going down the laborious road of marriage. Future spouses prepare themselves the best they can, they eliminate vices, get “loaded” with enthusiasm, plan everything together, because they will become one after their departure, meaning that they will be riding in the same car.
Once the destination is agreed upon, the entire beauty of the trip will depend upon the relationship between the two spouses and upon their manner of relating to the landscapes crossing their path.
Once they are thus settled and ready to go, we notice that the car has only one wheel, and therefore one driver, so only one of the two spouses can drive, otherwise, if they both tried to drive simultaneously the car would surely hit a tree or bump into other traffic participants.
God has established in the same equal manner that in marriage the man should be the head of his family and guide its members according to God’s rules. Just as the driver obeys the rules of the well-established Highway Code when being on the road with the purpose of preventing accidents, so should the man guide his family according to Christ’s “rules” to prevent endangering and troubling its members.
It seems that neither the man nor the woman understand the way in which things work in this godly arrangement. It often happens that women nowadays want to lead the way, and be a driver even though they weren’t given a family driving license. From this point on, trouble prevails.
Men also have their share in this as they wrongly understood their task, bringing more trouble into the family. They believe that being the family driver is actually a privilege when in fact being the head for your wife and family is a responsibility. They don’t understand that they will have to fully account for the way in which they have been driving, in the same way they misunderstand the great responsibility of this task assigned by Christ. Just as the driver is responsible for the lives of his passengers, so is the man responsible for his wife’s and presumable children’s salvation.
This is a great matter, even tormenting I would say. All married men will have to account at their judgment for the way in which they have led their families towards salvation. The Judge can’t be bribed and we cannot question His judgment the same way we do in this life! If your head is on your shoulders, take heed!1
Now, after finding this out, we would be tempted to believe that women’s role is minimized by comparison to men’s role, which is not at all true, because God did not leave a woman (the co-pilot) to help the man (the pilot) for nothing.
The car pilot always consults his co-pilot and they work as a team only. Every action of the pilot affects the co-pilot and vice-versa. The co-pilot holds the road map indicating the way they need to follow and guides the pilot on the right track every time guidance is needed. Thus, the wife sees that her husband doesn’t deviate from the road of salvation. And she pays attention to something else as well: that the pilot doesn’t forfeit traffic rules, endangering their lives and the car in which they are travelling and with which they have to reach their destination.
In a similar manner, the husband teams up with his wife during marriage. The wife makes sure that her husband obeys Christ’s commandments and doesn’t break them. She’s got this right and this obligation. Warnings must be delivered timely, kindly and firmly at the same time, the same way a driver must be warned in time to be allowed to take evasive maneuvers without making dangerous jolts. And the more the co-pilot is attentive and dedicated to her role, the more will the pilot drive better and safer. The better and more united they are playing, the more beautiful and safer will their journey be.
The same thing happens in marriage as well. The more the woman is dedicated to her role of wife and mother, the more will the man be a better family pilot, meaning a better husband and father. And the better they will live together, the purer, deeper and fruitful will their love be.
Another thing to bear in mind is that every time the driver breaks a traffic rule, he endangers his life as much as that of his passengers. The same happens in a family where the foolish man doesn’t abide by Christ’s commandments. He endangers his wife’s and children’s salvation. And God forbid an accident should happen, because even though all the passengers in the car are suffering, the driver is the one who will serve his sentence according to the responsibility granted to him. However, let’s mind our trip a little bit further…
Even though our travelers will encounter unpredictable obstacles on their way towards the final destination, and might even deviate from their road a little, they will enjoy many beautiful views as well, and together they will see things they would not have seen being by themselves, and they will share together all these joys meant to bring them closer. Even though the landscapes are meant to perfect their love even more through good times, and the purpose of the potholes and impossible roads is to unite them even more through worse times, yet, if there isn’t a good collaboration between the spouses, they will learn nothing from neither, turning into selfish people, and giving up others in favor of themselves.
This is why, in some families, no matter how many beautiful things God would set on spouses’ way, all the beauty of the trip is lost in fighting and hatred. Practice confirms these things because there are so many drivers who are upset with the traffic all the time, even though they were full of enthusiasm when they started driving, just as so many husbands are upset with their lives even if they were full of beautiful hopes and dreams when they started their marriage.
Curiously enough, the number of divorces multiplies with the growing number of traffic accidents. Could there be a connection between these two? We shall see.
Which are the most common causes of fatal accidents? Speed of course, failing to grant priority, driving under the influence of alcohol and drivers’ acute tiredness.
Let’s see how things are in the family plan. Divorces, meaning the fatal accidents of spouses’ love for each other, often happen because of spouses’ speed and superficiality with which they want to go through life. Another cause could be their failure to love parents, brothers, neighbours and all participants in the traffic of life, love being a priority according to Christ’s “rules.”
Other causes would be: guiding the family under the influence of passions, and last but not least fatigue … spiritual fatigue due to spouses’ chase after vanities of the world. This is how spouses lose spiritual watchfulness and land into…divorces.
However, there are drivers who happily arrive to the final destination along with their families. They are those who have followed the commandments of Christ and who have taken Him as their Deliverer in all troubles. The joy of both spouses is then increasing, according to their behaviour along the way: with patience, kindness, affection, self-sacrifice and all other branches of love. One more thing should be added here, that although the Highway Code is yet to be perfect, Christ’s laws are flawless.
The Highway Code guiding us is a simple set of laws, while Christ’s laws can be fulfilled only with Christ and near Christ, meaning we should always find a reliable help in His person. God is always by our side, in any of our trips, we only have to want to consult with him.
Marriage is similar to a car trip to the gates of Heaven. Blessed are those who have understood this! That said… have a nice trip!