Monday, October 17, 2016

Marriage, it's about giving

Marriage is messy. Marriage is beautiful. Marriage is hard and marriage is worth it. I write all of this being keenly aware that in the thick of it all, marriage is a call to deny yourself and put your spouse first.

On the day of our wedding, David and I picked a reading for the liturgy that was not very typical. We chose the reading of when Jesus washes His disciples feet. This reading is typically read on Holy Thursday, when Jesus is said to have washed His disciples feet before the Last Supper.

The washing of the feet has so much meaning. The Master, Jesus, washes His followers feet. If He does this, He who is God, are we not to do the same? But even more so, there is a greater meaning in a few of the words that appear in this passage. During the moment where Jesus washes their feet, he not only places the idea of serving at the heart of Christian life, but he also "lays down and takes up his garment." The only other passage where we see these two actions, "lay down" and "take up" appears in the Gospel of John when Christ says he "lays down his life" and then "takes it up."

The great significance in these words are so connected to marriage. In marriage, we should "lay down our own lives to then take it back up. In the selfless act of laying our lives down for our spouses, laying down our needs and wants and placing theirs first, in these very selfless acts, we find new life. We discover a resurrection. A joy. It is in this selfless love, given to the other, that we not only imitate the love of God but we also find the true meaning of love. Love is giving ourselves completely to the other. Love is not hinged on receiving but actually in giving. Giving ourself. Once we learn to give, it is only then that we are actually ready to receive.

As we do this mutually, we find true life, true joy and true meaning in marriage. Imagine, someone always looking out for you, your needs and your desires? And then you reciprocally do the same for them. Well, firstly, you would be set. This love takes care of you. Tends to you. Loves you. Nurtures you. Heals you. And then, you would naturally do the same for them. This type of love only yearns to be given back in the same way. A true gift-of-self. It's that type of love, that gives before receiving, that is the true building block of marriage.

Love is not a feeling.

Love is a decision.

Love is sparked by emotion but then, in the day-to-day, it is decision.

A daily decision to give of oneself.

Even when we are only wanting to receive, we must come back to this decision to give of ourselves, time and time again.

Love is messy. Our love is not perfect. It does not always work out as nicely as we would hope for it to be. Sometimes one takes more than the other. On occasion one only wishes to receive. However, if you always come back to this place, to this knowledge of true love, of the giving of oneself mutually, you realign with the perfect source of love, who is God. It is there that you re-discover the joy and peace that is ultimately the fruit of a marriage; marriage between one man and one woman, that is centered on laying downs one life, to only find it again.


  1. Molto bello Alejandra.
    L'amore è una decisione! E' quello che io e Valeria viviamo da 27 anni, ogni giorno più bello. Un abbraccio alla vostra bella famiglia.
    Davide e Valeria

    1. Grazie caro Davide. E per questo che voi siete sposati per 27 anni. L'amore cresce quando uno decide amare. Vi mandiamo un grande abbraccio anche a voi. Ale