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The Timelessness of Truth, Part 2

February 1, 2011

Over the next three weeks, I’ll be turning This Pilgrim’s Progress over to my grandparents, Linc and Jane. While preparing my grandmother for an upcoming move, my aunts uncovered the notes to a marriage talk given by my grandparents at some unknown date. Knowing that I have a passion for marriage and the desire to help others realize the fullness of God’s plan in the sacrament, they were kind enough to pass the notes on to me. I, in turn, have decided to pass them along to the audience of This Pilgrim’s Progress. The ideas herein are not revolutionary, but they are timeless and, at times, prophetic. I point to them as a reminder that, while the world around us changes, the essential truth of men and women and the mystery of marriage remains unchanged.

Let’s turn for a moment to the necessity of understanding the role of our partner in the family. This understanding is essential, of course, if the unity of marriage is to be real and complete.

As for the man, he is the head and center of authority. By nature, he must be the decision maker, the provider and the planner. He is charged with the final responsibility for the physical, mental and spiritual welfare of the family.

The woman is the heart of the family and she is the center of affection. It is only natural that the woman, as wife and mother, provides the inspiration of family love. The wife’s role is one of service. It is her objective to make the home a happy and holy place for all who live there.

I think that we all appreciate that the role of the man and the woman are not arbitrarily assigned. Rather, they arise from the different natures of the man and the woman, physiologically, psychologically and intellectually.

For the most part, the husband is stronger physically and he is more restrained emotionally. Perhaps some of you may not agree, but generally, the man is more logical and sound in his reasoning. He lives in an atmosphere of concrete, material things, which are associated with earning a living and supporting a family.

We will acknowledge that the wife is weaker physically. Emotionally, we are more inclined to express ourselves. We act on intuition more frequently, and we are more concerned with people than things.

From this discussion I think that it is evident that the relation of man and wife reflects the relationship of Christ and His Church.

Marriage is a complete way of life for both the husband and the wife. It is a vocation from God that involves total commitment. It is a career, not only for the wife, but for the husband as well. Through marriage the husband and wife grow in love of God through the love of each other. Each is charged with the responsibility for the other’s growth and spiritual development and with the spiritual development of their children.

This brings us down to physical union, or as most of us commonly refer to it, sex.

Sex is something that should not be considered apart from the rest of marriage. Obviously, it is an integral part of a whole, complete union. In marriage, it is the outward expression of mental and spiritual oneness. It has true meaning and significance only in a real marriage and gives lasting satisfaction only as part of a good marriage. The physical union of the husband and wife should be a source of strength, consolation and encouragement to each other. We always should remember that sex is a product of God; therefore, it is basically good.

It certainly is important to avoid wrong attitudes about sex. These wrong attitudes prevent achievement of the harmony and happiness which are found in the physical union of two partners.

It is also important for the husband and wife to understand differences of their physical natures.

For the most part, the husband is the leader and the initiator of sexual relations. He has a greater need to express his love physically.

As husbands, we should endeavor to understand our wife’s responses. Her response, both emotionally and physically, is usually slower, but it is also more profound. We should recognize the importance of giving her adequate preparation. And perhaps most difficult of all, it is necessary for us to practice self control. This should be done as an expression of love for our wives when physical union is impossible or difficult.

As wives we should recognize that our husbands generally are more easily and quickly aroused. We should understand his needs for physical love and we should endeavor to respond generously. We should participate actively in sex.

In essence, both the husband and the wife should seek primarily to please each other. They should view sex in its true context as one expression of their total love. Most importantly, they should realize that the marriage act is a source of grace.

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