Chapter 7 ~ "When Thorns Regard Their Roses with Alarm"
- This chapter is about when difficulties arise in marriage. We all want to get along with our spouses, but let us not merely get along if it means compromising our vocation of getting each other to Heaven.
- 18th Century Madame de Maintenon was a widow hired as a tutor for the children of King Louis XIV. He later married her after his wife died. After she became King Lous' wife, Madame de Maintenon wrote a prayer called "Guidance in a High Estate:""...Open the King's heart, that I may instill into it the good thou desirest; and grant that I may please him, comfort him, strengthen him and even afflict him, when it shall be for Thy glory. Grant that I may never hide from him what he ought to know through me, and which others may not have the courage to tell him. Grant that I may be saved with him, that I may love him in Thee... and that he may love me in the same way."
- "She (wives) must afflict when there is a real lack in her beloved that may harm, spiritually and/or physically, himself or his family."
- "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, thou shalt love thy neighbor; and in each case to love is to will the good of the other. That is why love is something hard; you want the good of the other so much that you are prepared to see him suffer if necessary, however much it hurts him, and you."
- Also noted in this chapter was the importance of being constructive in your criticism of your spouse and not simply "nit-picky."
I think this is one of the most challenging chapters for me to embrace. It sounds good and necessary to hold our spouses accountable, but how I do dislike confrontation! But I know that if I really love my husband, I will want the greater Good for him. I absolutely love the prayer from Madame de Maintenon! It really hits home the idea that the central focus of married life is to be honest before God and your spouse. If we are not honest with our spouses, especially when they are doing something (or not doing something) that causes harm, then we are not loving them and living out our vocation in helping them in their call to imitate Christ.