The Two Focii of Marriage (Part 1)

A circle has one center point and the circumference of the circle travels equidistant from this one point at all times. An ellipse of the other hand has two foci and the path of the ellipse is always in relation to these two points. I would like to suggest that life is more nearly like an ellipse than a circle. There are often 2 points we have to keep in tension to arrive at and keep in the truth. The Incarnation is an excellent example of this principle. Christ is both fully human and fully divine. Both aspects must be keep in view or we will distort and misunderstand the reality of Jesus.

Similarly in marriage, there are two foci and both need always to be honoured for a marriage to be healthy and to continue to grow. The first foci which we will dealt with in this blog is that of being continually open to joy. This would appear to be self-evident and easy but in fact it is not. Certainly, in the early stages of marriage and family life it comes naturally to choose to have fun and to see the positive side of things even when things are difficult. That is the prerogative of youth. But the choice for joy is different. When our natural inclination runs aground on the hard realities of life what are we going to do? Money is scarce, everyone is down with the flu, my wife just doesn’t understand me, etc.

It is here that the grace of Christ intervenes- if we allow it. Even in the midst of hardships we can choose joy. ‘In everything give thanks.’ To be open to the Lord when we are overwhelmed by negative thoughts or problems is an act of faith. But it is reasonable faith. Paul commands us: ”Rejoice in the Lord, always.’ This reaction is reasonable because God is always in charge of things, even when we cannot see it. He is Lord of all and can be trusted.

We often don’t think of joy as a choice, but there always comes those times in our lives when we are about to be overcome by the world, by the negativity that surrounds us. That is when the choice presents itself. Will I be overcome by the world or will I exercise my faith and overcome the world with the joy of Christ which is always more profound and real than anything the world can throw at me.

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