Contemplating Your Spouse With God’s Eyes: Key To Happiness

Contemplating Your Spouse With God’s Eyes: Key To Happiness January 16, 2024

Contemplating your spouse with God’s eyes is one of the greatest keys to success in a marriage. “I am convinced that it is God’s intention that we each experience a divine gaze when we look into our partner’s eyes.” (Sanderfer & Johnson, Created for Connection, p. 16) Does looking at your spouse remind you of God?

When people are first falling in love, it is easy to confuse the creature for the Creator. There can even be some idol-worship getting in the way of true love. We hear expressions like “I adore you,” that are properly reserved to God. However, as time goes on, there is often very little risk of confusing one’s spouse with God. That first shine has worn off, and it takes every effort just to remember that he or she is created in the image and likeness of God.

All these years

Dementia is a terrible disease. It robs us of the ones we love in a very peculiar way. They are still with us physically, but we lose pieces of them mentally and emotionally. Some of you may have seen the current Chevrolet holiday commercial. The grandmother is sitting in the house, apparently very distant from all of the family that is there. One of the daughters is speaking to the grandfather, seeing that “Mom has good days and bad days.” Then, you see one of the granddaughters take the old Chevy out for a drive with Grandma. Slowly, different memories come flooding back and when they return home, she recognizes her husband as she had not done for quite some time.

The commercial shows the power of their love in spite of the pain caused by her dementia. Their love is stronger. Clearly, he continues to commit to his wife, even though she does not typically recognize him as her husband of all these years.

Couple on a Swing
A married couple looks at each other with love | Courtesy of Pexels

A woman of worth

The last chapter of the book of Proverbs is famously a description of a woman of worth. Hopefully, it can describe the way spouses look at one another.

Who can find a woman of worth? Far beyond jewels is her value. Her husband trusts her judgment; he does not lack income.She brings him profit, not loss, all the days of her life. She seeks out wool and flax and weaves with skillful hands. Like a merchant fleet, she secures her provisions from afar. She rises while it is still night, and distributes food to her household, a portion to her maidservants.

Practical wisdom of the wife

She picks out a field and acquires it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength; she exerts her arms with vigor.

A profitable wife

She enjoys the profit from her dealings; her lamp is never extinguished at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle.

Generous

She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy.

Unworried

She is not concerned for her household when it snows— all her charges are doubly clothed. She makes her own coverlets; fine linen and purple are her clothing. Her husband is prominent at the city gates as he sits with the elders of the land. She makes garments and sells them, and stocks the merchants with belts.

Clothed with strength and dignity

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and laughs at the days to come. She opens her mouth in wisdom; kindly instruction is on her tongue.

Watchful over affairs

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband, too, praises her: “Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all.” Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Acclaim her for the work of her hands, and let her deeds praise her at the city gates. (Prov. 31:10-31)

Learning to See

A man receives a call to love his wife above all others. There is an exclusivity that comes with deep love. We can feel physical attraction towards many different people. We can connect on intellectual and emotional levels. But marriage is a call to enter an exclusive bond with one person for the rest of your life. It leads to seeing this person differently than all others.

“When marriages fail, it is not increasing conflict that is the cause. It is decreasing affection and emotional responsiveness.” (Sanderfer & Johnson, Created for Connection, p. 48) Many of you may be familiar with the sitcom The Office. When Jim and Pam are going through a rough patch, they feel the temptation to avoid each other. In one episode, things are tense and Jim is getting ready to drive back to Philadelphia instead of spending Valentine’s Day with her. She insists that they go home together. He expresses his concern that they are just going to fight. She says “I think we should fight.” Sometimes, it is not the conflict that is the true enemy in our relationships. It is the death of emotional responsiveness. We have to choose to work through the pain of conflict to preserve the love and affection of the relationship.

Questions for Reflection

Is there excessive conflict in your relationship?

Do you notice a decrease in affection and emotional responsiveness? 

Marriage Series

Parenting Style

Temperament and How It Can Make Your Marriage Flourish

5 Keys to Celebrate Blessings in Your Marriage

God’s Plan for Marriage

Love Builds Security: God’s Plan for Marriage

About Fr. Nicholas Sheehy, LC
Fr. Nicholas Sheehy was ordained a Catholic priest in 2013 for the Legionaries of Christ. He has been involved in youth work including missions, retreats and apostolic outreach in Germany, Italy, the United States and Central America. He is passionate about the New Evangelization and formation for young adults and married couples. He is a spiritual director and retreat director, offering marriage preparation and marriage counseling through the Divine Mercy Clinic and Family Center. He is currently Executive Director and Chaplain of the Newman Center at St. Philip the Apostle Parish in Pasadena, California. You can read more about the author here.
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