Part 1 – The Myth We Discovered
Part 2 – Reciprocity
Because I am in relationship with God, I actually have something, on my own, to give back to Him.
When you look at the surface of Paradigm A, you only view the shell. But if you look under the surface, scrutinizing the real message (Paradigm B), you can see that there is no representation of “oneness” that includes God. Instead, what it illustrates is actually THREE reciprocal relationships, each of the three being separated in its own vacuum:
Three Relationships Each In Its Own Vacuum
1 – God & wife
God does all the giving in this relationship, any love I have originated with Him, I love Him, because He first loved me (1 John 4:19). There is nothing I can reciprocate to God:
He does all the giving … a wife can only TAKE.
2 - God & husband
Again, God does all the giving in this relationship. There is nothing a husband can reciprocate to God:
God does all the giving … a husband can only TAKE.
3- husband & wife
There is no line for the relationship that shows the oneness of marriage that comes from God, the One who does the giving. Instead, the arrow representing marriage involves two takers.
Reciprocate, To God?
Paradigm A disguises reality by presenting the way marriage should be (see Part 1) – the utopian view. It also enforces the idea that: I can reciprocate directly to God. Even though I know, logically, there is no way that a natural human being has anything to offer a supernatural being. Because of the fact that the only reason I am able to love God is, because He first loved me, this begs the question: How am I going to love God back?
Conceptualizing the interaction (Paradigm B) that is actually taking place between God and each spouse gives a clearer idea: God loves me. That’s a $100 bill that He’s given to me … do I give Him back the $100 bill? Is this how I love God back? Keeping the $100 in a vacuum, isolated between the two of us – passing it back and forth?
How easy is it to be in relationship with God? I’ve discovered, as you probably have, He’s pretty easy to love. With God there’s no relational dysfunction, is there? Never any ugly trials and tribulations. God is supreme perfection. Always giving. Never taking.
God always does the right thing and never sins against you.
Paradigms A & B don’t actually show how each spouse is growing closer to God. As long as the arrow is pointed at God (Paradigm A) and remains between just the two of them (Paradigm B), it is not a relationship with any maturity. Maturity responds to God’s love by imitating it.
When I identify with the utopian Paradigm A, it seems ok for me to see my relationship with God as separate from my relationship with my husband. And this is where the deception comes in:
- It is not humanly possible for a spouse (a taker) to love the other spouse (a taker) the way God loves each of them.
- There really isn’t two separate relationships in marriage … the two have become one.
The question again: How do you reciprocate with a being that is so supreme He completes His Self within Himself?
You imitate Him
When Darrell and I got married, we became ONE flesh. There aren’t two of us anymore, there is one. Therefore, that great mystery of becoming one flesh would be more accurately illustrated by a single line:
The utopian triangle (Paradigm A) is applicable when a marriage is as it should be: In its “good place.” There is no conflict and both spouses are getting along. However, with the pressures of life, the reality of trials and the ugliness of human sin, conflict in marriage is inevitable; the utopian paradigm crashes and burns … it’s useless to us. The high divorce rates are the best indicator of the misapplication of the ‘marriage triangle.’ Perhaps it’s time for a paradigm shift.
Imitation is not just the sincerest form of flattery – it’s the sincerest form of learning. –George Bernard Shaw
Part 3 – Imitation: A paradigm shift to an active perspective.