Human Relationships – Good, Bad and Rough times
The reading from Mark 10:1-12 may be viewed as controversial by some. The first question that comes to mind is ‘What about the person who is in an abusive marriage?’ As a long time married person who has the privilege of watching close family and friends live their marriage vows—even the for better or worse, and in sickness or health parts I can attest that marriage can be very hard. But this can be said about any valued relationship.
Society has glamourized marriage—at least the wedding part. Too often people fail to see beyond the ceremony. They forget to consider what it means to live out the promise to love one another until death do us part.
As I reflect on this gospel, I find myself remembering the great celebrations my spouse and I have shared—celebrating the profession of love for each other accompanied by family and dear friends. I remember the birth of our son. I am grateful for the care my spouse and I have provided to each other during some dark times—such as the illness and death of family members. I also think of some of the really petty things that can make me crazy—the shoes left all over the house, the coat that is never hung in the closet and I swear he thinks the pans we use are self-cleaning. I’m confident I may have a flaw or two that bug my spouse as well. I’m thankful for the great examples we have been surrounded by as we navigate choppy waters on occasion.
Nevertheless, I think we are called today to consider not only marriage, but commitments overall. It’s important to keep our promises, care for each other and use all available resources to support us in carrying out our commitments before deciding that ‘it’s just too much, or ‘not fun anymore’.
Take some time to remember commitments you’ve made, particularly to another human—relationships. Do I offer grace to the other? Am I reasonable in my expectations of the other? What am I doing to maintain the health of the relationship? Rely on those who are trying to keep similar commitments for guidance and support. Above all, keep Jesus as the centre of the relationship and ask him to provide guidance and protection in the good, bad times and the rough times.