This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible, makes my heart beat double-time when I read it. Having come into the Truth, it helps me to judge how I deal with others and, especially, my bride. Mind you, it is not always easy and sometimes, in some respects, I fail. But it gives me a good target.
Love also has another side effect that blesses many marriages--and can seem as a curse in others. When sexual intimacy blends harmoniously with love, something strange and somewhat creepy begins happening. This effect is strikingly obvious to all but the ones involved. We see it every day, everywhere. Beauty and the Beast walk down the street holding hands and we shake our heads, thinking "love is blind."
And nothing was ever so far from the truth.
For years now, when I come across this phenomena, my heart leaps with joy and I smile. I smile because I know the truth. I know what is really happening. I know what they see. Because, far be it from blind, love is divine vision. I know this because I am married to the most radiant, sensuous, voluptuous, gorgeously beautiful example of womanhood ever to have graced this side of creation (why she never believes me when I tell her is a mystery, so I try telling her at least once every day just to make sure she knows I'm serious.) And I know I'm not that lucky.
This side effect is something to be expected and nurtured as the Scriptures tell us "Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love." (Proverbs 5:18 KJV.) OK. I know it is aimed directly at men, but Jehovah is impartial and, after all, we are supposed to become "one flesh" with our spouse, so I'm sure this advice is also aimed at her (I hope that's not too much of a stretch.)
This allows us not just to maintain, but to also crave, an intimate sexual relationship with just our spouse, which, in turn, reinforces the effect. In an article in Time magazine (Nov. 27, 2013), a study of males reported that hormones (namely Oxytocin) released during intimate contact with our spouses, not only made our spouses seem more attractive, but also made other women seem less attractive. Also "A prior study by the same researchers, in fact, found that men in monogamous relationships who were given oxytocin actually kept a greater physical distance from an attractive research associate, compared with single men." So even science indicates that intimate relations are essential to a strong marriage.
But how can such a gift from our creator become a curse? Easy. When intimacy is denied, this effect still remains. And this God given craving for our spouse cannot be satisfied, leading to frustration, feelings of loneliness, depression and spiritual anguish. Just looking at your spouse walking by can bring one to tears--I know. To make matters worse, other persons begin to appear more attractive to us, leaving us exposed to Satan's tricks.
Interestingly enough, one big reason for denial of sexual intimacy turns out to be distorted image of oneself. That is something that both spouses can strive to prevent and maybe repair in each other.
Just let your spouse see themselves through your eyes, with the divine vision of love.
I keep you all in my prayers.
Images courtesy of Stuart Miles, stockimages and imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net