September 15, 2012

Marriage Is a Spiritual Relationship

(The marriage of Kate and Michael Armstrong, 2012 by Rev. John Gishler)

In the Gospel Reading (Mark 10.6-9) Jesus teaches us that in marriage two people both leave their parents protection and authority and are joined together in a “one flesh” relationship. This is a spiritual relationship because they are joined not by physical birth but an emotional or spiritual attraction.  To understand love more deeply, we need to look at marriage as a relationship between two human spirits that have physical bodies. These two spirits are about to promise to love, comfort, honour and protect each other in order to grow and experience joy in this relationship.

1.     They will promise to love each other.
a.    There are no limitations or conditions attached
b.    These promises are being made in the presence of God
c.     Apostle Paul defines unconditional love as patient and kind
d.    Unconditional love is not self-seeking – self-sacrificial
e.    Unconditional love keeps no record of wrongs – forgives
f.      Unconditional love perseveres in hope
g.    Unconditional love enables us to overcome our fear

2.     They will promise to comfort each other

a.     Our personal spirits are very fragile
b.     Our personal spirits are easily wounded by negative emotions in others – anger, rage, jealousy, rejection
c.     Our personal spirits are wounded by ridicule, guilt & shame
d.     Our spirits need the comfort of an intimate loving relationship
e.     Our spirits need to be re-assured they are loved and valued
f.      Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, The Comforter, to guide us, comfort us and heal us physically and emotionally
g.     The Holy Spirit will come to anyone who believes in Jesus and invites Him into their life

3.     They will promise to honour each other
a.    Our personal spirits need the respect of others
b.    In life there will always be emotional attacks on our value and worth as a person
c.     Making fun of your spouse, for example,  is like spraying Roundup in a garden
d.    We need one person who will vow to honour us and never be part of these attacks
e.    We need one person who will constantly re-affirm our value and worth every day of the week

4.     They will promise to protect each other
a.    Life is physically and spiritually dangerous
b.    We all need physical and spiritual protection
c.     Our personal spirits are wounded by sickness, trauma, accidents and all kinds of losses
d.    Our personal spirits are also wounded by guilt, shame, un-forgiveness, anger and feelings of rejection
e.    Some of these things just happen and the only protection your personal spirits will have is the security of your commitment to each other
f.      There will be times when you have to protect each other by taking a difficult stand against friends or family
g.    I find it helpful to think of myself as my wife Lucille’s Protection Officer

5.     A Marriage is like a garden
a.    If you plant love, comfort, honour and protection that is what will grow – and be the joy of your lives
b.    If you forget to water it with love it will dry up
c.     If you neglect to get the weeds of ridicule, anger, un-forgiveness, guilt and shame out, it will not grow well
d.    Finally, when things go wrong, and they will, do not be too proud to ask for help – see the movie “Hope Springs”
e.    Lucille and I have had very helpful Psychological counseling to overcome our communication issues
f.      We have both had prayer for emotional and spiritual healing
g.    If you remember to ask for the help of the Holy Spirit, you will be blessed more than you can ask or imagine.
h.     The good news is that love ‘keeps no record of wrongs’.

Marriage is a spiritual relationship
– may God bless you as you enter this state!


  1. Now this one is what I've been looking for. Would be giving you credits on the way how you deliver this great insight. Such an interesting story.

  2. Thank you for your comment. It is always good to know someone is helped. The source of my wisdom is the Bible, prayer the Holy Spirit who has opened my eyes to understand how things work in the spiritual dimension. This has come largely through my study and experience in the Healing Ministry. You might find some of the references in the Healing section of the blog helpful.

    Blessings, John+