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Heart, Soul, Mind, Strength

(Wed Jan 28 13:37:57 2009)

Thoughts on Mark 12:30

Mark 12:30
And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.

There's a reason Jesus used those specific words - heart, soul, mind, strength.
Heart: Your emotion and passion
Soul: A connection to God that no other being on this planet has; the spiritual, supernatural part of Man.
Mind: The logical, thinking part of you.
Strength: Your physical strength, or more broadly, your physical body.

Together, these four pieces make up "you." Without emotion, Man is no more than an automaton (think "Equilibrium"); without a soul, Man is no better than the animals. Without logic, Man is nothing but a pleasure-seeking husk, and without a body, there would be no way for Man to interact with others. God demands that you serve Him, not only with your logical thoughts or your emotion, but with your whole self. If I were to serve God with my mind and body, but never once cried before Him or felt a stir of exciement during worship, I wouldn't be giving Him my all - I would be witholding my emotion.

But, that's not what I'm blagging about today. I'm actually turning an illustration back around, that of God and the Church, and man and wife. You see, a man and his bride must give each other the same heart, soul, mind, and strength that they give God. If a relationship is based on nothing more than "I like how she looks" and "He makes me feel good" (that is, body and heart - but no soul or mind), it will soon enough dissolve. Just the same, if a man and woman have a deep understanding of their spouse and pray together daily, they will still be missing the emotional bond they need.

Marriage is tough; when life threatens to overwhelm me, I'm glad that my wife is there to support me. I know that when I think something, chances are she knows what I'm thinking, and vice versa. I know that when I'm struggling, she's praying for me. I love bantering with her, arguing some twist of logic. And I love to hold her tightly, as though the world will end tomorrow. You see, if you are connected to your spouse mentally and emotionally, if you pray together, and if you hold each other at least once in a while, you don't just assume that your spouse is there for you. You know, beyond a shadow of a doubt.


Think of these four attributes like table legs. In a good relationship, all four legs are balanced and even; that table will be rock-steady, even under heavy stress. If the legs get unbalanced - say, you no longer feel attracted to your wife - that table is going to be unsteady. Sure, it could exist without one of the legs. It would be a bit precarious, but it would work. But trust me - it's a lot better when all four legs of that table are firmly planted. And even better, the four legs - the four pieces of your being - work together to influence each other. If you love God with your heart and soul and mind, you will want to use your body for God, too, be it helping at a homeless shelter or earning money for missions. In the same way, if you love your spouse with all your heart and soul, your body and mind will come along for the ride.

Eventually, I know I'm going to be old and wrinkly, and so will my wife. But I also know that I'm still going to be as in love with her as I am now (or more!), and we're still going to have just as much fun together (wink, wink). Why? Because I love her with all my heart, our spiritual walks are side by side, and her incredible mind is a perfect counterpart to my own. Our physical bodies may age, but our mental, emotional, and spiritual bonds never will - so even when we're old and ugly to everyone else, we'll still see ourselves as the same young, madly-in-love people we saw when we said "I do."

A little advice, for newlyweds and oldlyweds: if you feel as though you've "fallen out of love," check the other three pillars of your relationship. Chances are, at least one of them needs a bit of shoring up.

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This blag is tagged: Bible, Christianity, Marriage, All