Body, Soul and Spirit!

Aromatic Sunset
The ideas I hope to express in this post first occurred to me months and months ago.  However, they were some of the post ideas I kept remembering then forgetting intermittently.  When I first had these ideas the truth (I hope!) of the ideas struck me quite forcibly, but still they were theory.  Very recently though, things have happened to me in my own life which would bring these ideas from the realm of “theory” to make them more real in my own life.

So these then are the ideas:  On this blog, I never stop shouting about how I want (and very much need!) to be deeply crazy about my husband.  Well one day it occurred to me that if we as humans are composed of body, soul (or mind, will, intellect, creativity, emotions) and spirit, and if as a couple you are to be “one flesh”, then perhaps a deep and true love between a husband and wife would also reflect those three elements, that as a couple you would be deeply bound together and united in these three aspects.  To some people this might sound somewhat obvious? However I honestly cannot remember anyone else talking about marital unity this way before!)   

So in practice I guess this is what this might look like:

SPIRIT:
Concerning our relationships with God, we are both striving after the same things.  We are both investing our everything to be our best for God, to know God, to live His Word and His truth. Furthermore, I deeply admire my would-be husband’s heart for God, and his character, as he admires my own.  I literally love his spirit, and how that is manifested in his life, and in his relating with people, as he also loves my own spirit.  Finally, I so deeply yearn for spiritual intimacy with this man; that is, to talk about God with him, to pray with him, to study the Bible with him, as he represents the kind of spiritual passion and commitment that I want to demonstrate in my life, and I want to surround myself with.  I also want to get his frank and candid insight into different spiritual matters.  I am sure that he would bring a new and powerful Spirit-driven perspective to various issues on which I am struggling for clarity, and I can’t wait to have him around all the time for the sake of constantly being able to ask him: “What do you think about this?”

Questions to ask with someone I am romantically considering:  “Am I deeply craving spiritual intimacy with him?  Am I looking to him to learn all that I can spiritually?  Does he represent a deep well of spiritual wisdom that I wish I could access as freely as I might need at any time?” Sometimes the word “Spiritual” can be a little confusing in this context.  We’ve all met those people  who never stop talking about matters of God, and the Bible, who are always seeking a) to make sure everyone else is aware of their superior wisdom b)to share this wisdom with everyone else, whether or not it is sought or requested.  I am one of these people myself! And yet these are not necessarily the kind of people that I think represent true spiritual strength. 
For me, true spiritual strength is primarily expressed in two ways: living for God, that is, living for God’s priorities; and demonstrating deep Christlike character.

It is not just a one-sided thing of course.  I also have to ask myself whether I also want to serve him spiritually, in those times when he is not strong.  Am I willing to invest my all into upholding him in prayer, as I would wish him to do for me?  

BODY:
This is a matter of physical attraction.  For some reason, I find myself unwilling to go into too much detail about this! However for me, I guess that it is not just a matter of what he actually looks like, but also whether or not there is sincere attraction stemming from what he is like on the inside.  There are some people I have met, and on first meeting them I was so struck by their physical appeal. However, as I got to know them a little longer, I stopped finding them so attractive as I could only see their traits which were not so attractive.  On the other hand, there are some people I meet, and on knowing them more, they only get more and more attractive.  There is so much joy in them, which is so compelling and you just can’t stop looking at them.

I guess here the question to ask is whether we are deeply attracted to one another, physically speaking. If there is a true and deep attraction, is this truly physical and emotional, or merely intellectual?  Do I hunger for his touch? Similarly, do my own fingers itch to touch him?  Does he have any physical traits which I would find off-putting?  Sometimes talking to my married friends they describe some things at which I just want to gag.  That said, I definitely do have a few habits of my own which I want to shed as quickly as possible, which I hope my husband will never see!

Hugging?
Hugging is a little complex for me to talk about, because I am not entirely sure whether it is a physical issue, or an emotional issue, or perhaps a bit of both.  I think it is a bit of both, because for me I do dream of strong male arms; however, it is also about the emotional connection between us.  But as I say, I don’t want to talk more about that just now!

Once again it is also double sided; the question is not only about whether I am attracted to him, or whether I would want him to physically serve me with his hugs and in other ways. Is he truly attracted to me, and would I equally be willing to serve him?  If I am physically crazy about him, which I need to be, then I think it follows from that that there are many ways in which I would love that to be expressed. This will sometimes require service on his part, a sometimes inconvenient investment of time and effort.  Assuming that he is equally crazy about me, then I have to ask myself whether I too would be willing to serve him at times when it is inconvenient for me.  When you are single and you are looking as longingly into marriage as I am, it seems hard to believe that there could be times when you don’t want to be pouring out love and tenderness towards your spouse, when perhaps you feel too tired or you simply can’t be bothered to summon the emotional effort of a hug.  And yet so many people testify that this does happen, that the energy fuelled by emotions eventually runs out as those overwhelmingly strong emotions themselves subside.  I hope that this will never happen to me. I hope that for me and my spouse we will only get stronger in our feelings and more passionate about one another as time goes on.  However, even if it does happen that those feelings wind down, I hope that it will be true that I will always make service to my spouse a priority in my life, serving him the way I would love him to serve me.  Because I yearn for an outstanding level of deep intimacy with my spouse, then this means that I expect to serve him very deeply , even as I hope that he will equally serve me deeply, to achieve that outstanding level of intimacy.  

SOUL (Mind)
The concept of “the mind” covers so many things!  In short, it means all a person’s traits that are not physical, and are not directly spiritual.  (However, in all of this there is the complication that these aspects of our lives are not fully distinct, but they all to some influence and impact on one another.) Being united emotionally or mentally would mean sharing the same viewpoints about many issues in life, recognising the same priorities, and also being willing to be open to one another’s mindset in areas where we do disagree, and being gracious to one another.  Even as one single individual, I am so capable of maintaining contradictory viewpoints about different subjects at the same time (as might be apparent from this blog!) However, in that I continue to be gracious to myself and accept myself in these issues, and plough ahead in those areas which are clear and incontrovertible.  I think that the same could be true of couples. I also think that as a couple emotional unity would consist of wanting to understand one another, truly taking time to listen to one another; about general issues as well as our interaction with one another.

Beyond emotional issues, we could also seek unity in our various endeavours of life.  This could mean supporting one another in our dreams, or even inspiring one another in our different aspirations. 

Questions to ask:  Are we truly on the same emotional wavelength?  Can we talk freely, and do we listen to one another? Is he willing to share his heart with me – and vice versa? Am we truly excited about one another’s life goals?  As a woman, as the wife, would I be able to commit to his goals and take them on as my own ( – in a way that he does not have to do as the husband?!) Once again, it might take considerable effort for us to support one another in this.  This is a common cliche, but it might well be that I will mainly need him to serve me spiritually, for instance, where he might mainly need me to serve him emotionally.

As I have been writing this post, I have discovered that that issue is actually a lot bigger than I had originally thought.  I think that I will have to rewrite this post to reflect that, to incorporate the deeper understanding that has occurred to me while I’ve been writing this.  I will end with this thought though:  that as a couple we should be aiming to grow in our oneness in all these areas.  It will take effort, determination and a certain amount of vulnerability, but I think that the marriage I am dreaming of would make it all worthwhile, and I hope and pray that I will be able to find a husband whose dreams of marriage will be as big as mine.

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PHOTO CREDITS
Photo of “aromatic sunset” by AdinaVoicu on Pixabay
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