There are numerous examples in the Scriptures where
our relationship to God is compared to that of a wedded couple.
Today’s first reading demonstrates this analogy with the portrayal
of love, dedication, and service of the husband and wife to each
other. The powerful comparison between God’s love for us and
the love a married couple has for each other is profoundly described
in Proverbs today.
However, the idea of marriage as an everlasting, anchoring, and
sacred friendship – like God’s love – is hard
to relate to in our temporal, usable, and throw-away culture. Relationships
in our society have adopted these same characteristics. The culture
in which we live tells us that people are objectifiable, their emotions
can be discarded, and the permanency of friendships is temporary.
The selfish and self-satisfying lifestyles that saturate our society
degrade the concepts of friendship, relationship, and marriage to
disposable terms where immediate gratification is a prominent characteristic.
The result of this “usable” mentality is evident in
the number of people who engage in premarital sex, spousal and domestic
abuse, and the psychological, emotional, and social isolation that
children experience because of excessive-working or absent parents.
In this light, how then can a Christian understand the relationship
that God has for us, when our experiences of relationships with
other people have taught us that we have little value? Today’s
first reading provides several ways in which we can serve God while
also striving to form relationships with others that mirror the
longevity, dedication, and strength of love that God has for us.
By serving others, valuing the commitment of another’s heart,
and praising hard work and humility, we are coming in contact with
God. It is through valuing another person that we are given a glimpse
of the ideal love: that of God.
Every day, I experience and witness God by having my commitment
of love returned ten-fold by my family and friends. It is because
of these experiences, that I understand the importance of establishing
relationships that are perpetual and valued. It is through these
relationships that I have come to comprehend the unwavering love
that God has for me.