The Words of the Simonds Family
Roles Within Marriage
April 22, 2000
I don't think the stability of marriage relies as much on roles as it does the nature of the love within the family. If the partners are filled with love through their relationship with God, and look to their spouse as an object of their love - (someone to give love to, instead of receive love from), then they can move in and out of various roles in the family freely and naturally.
Kevin McCarthy once used a story to illustrate the point. He was returning from a trip and started making a list of things for Carol to do when he got back. He claims that Jesus came to him and told him he was making a big mistake. He should be making a list of things he needs to do for her - because he's been away and she needs his support.
Charles Ballard refers to the husband as the "Servant-head". Capital "S", small "h". That means that being the head of a family means taking responsibility for everyone else's problems.
Often, when a husband or wife unloads on the spouse, the other tends to get defensive and reacts. "You think you've got problems, that's nothing compared to what I have to deal with!" Instead, the spouse (particularly the husband if he is to assume his role as "Servant-head") should assume the responsibility to ease that burden without complaint. That's what Jesus did as an elder son, and the True Parents do as parents. When one spouse does that, the other becomes concerned about him/her and wants to lift his/her burden as well - just as a true Christian wants to relieve Jesus of the cross he bears for us.
The loving response may not be automatic, however. (It's nice when it is, and we all look forward to that stage in our relationship with our spouse). If it were, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in today. The giving of love has to be unconditional. It may take years, or even a lifetime before the object of love responds to the giver. That's what restoration is all about, and why Father matches enemies.
The key to a happy marriage and family is really very simple - "Live for the sake of others".
Along the same lines, the love within the family should be directed outward - taking care of the extended members of the family, serving the community, nation and world.
According to that model, the one who exhibits the higher expression of love in a given situation is the subject in that moment. If a wife insists on taking care of her dying parent at the inconvenience of her husband - she is the subject. When the husband brings public officials to American Leadership Conferences at the inconvenience of the family, he is subject. (We are currently experiencing both at the moment). Once we reach the level where we automatically support one another in our service to others, my will becomes the will of the other and the difference between subject and object disappears.
The Kingdom of Heaven occurs when people conform to the "logic of love", not to the logic of systems or norms.
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