You know, the comments I decide not to publish really give me a lot of material for thought. True, parts of them are rude and nasty, but they also contain some questions I like to ponder.
Here's the latest:
"Does God want your 'duty' or your heart? Do you want your husband to see you as his duty?"
Duty. The rarely used word. The long-forgotten virtue. The synonym of everything dry, boring, suffocating. Do we want it at all? Don't we simply need love, and creativity, and freedom?
Yet let's think for a moment where our lives would be if we didn't have duty. What would happen if soldiers didn't feel they have duty to fight for their country? What if parents didn't think they have duty towards their children? What if everyone always did only what their heart desires? What would happen if nothing kept us going on when times get tough?
It doesn't take much sacrifice to just do what we want. But commitment, self-discipline, the ability to put the needs of others first? Those only mark a mature and responsible person.
I don't see any contradiction between duty and love, either. On the contrary. See Deuteronomy 6:5 – "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" – what does that mean, then? We are told to love God. We are told to give our hearts to him – but this is not a suggestion. It is our duty to love Him.
I think the same can be applied to marriage. We should be committed to love our spouses. I'm not talking about just falling in love here – I mean the kind of love that takes a lot of work, sweat and pain. This means sticking together when our spouse doesn't exactly behave like an angel. This means the husband is supposed to provide for the family even when he doesn't have the job of his dreams, and the wife should not skip a cleaning day because she feels more like taking a walk outside. Our duties towards our loved ones should not be seen a suffocating burden, either. We should do them with joy.
If I get married one day, do I want my husband to feel he has duty towards me and our family? Absolutely. Otherwise, how are we supposed to feel secure in our marriage? I repeat, duty and love are not mutually exclusive. Quite the opposite – they go hand in hand.