Being in an arranged marriage was always a possibility. I witnessed a few arranged marriages. Parents through intermediaries or brokers working together to establish what they thought or hoped would be a long lasting, contributing relationship. My mother vocally explained to all who would listen why she believed this way had merits. Lastly, I was just gullible enough to believe anything was possible! My long time fear was of something so apparently artificial, offset only by my na?ve and simple belief that I had no control over my life.
There are many areas in life that we believe we cannot control. Who we fall in love with, how disciplined we are, how we react in situations, and our sense of self-defense. We rationalize that we are human creatures with a patterned imprinted at birth. Some of this may be true, but a lot of it is merely na?ve, simple belief without foundation.
Like many, I have a wall around my inner self that guards things I hold of value. The wall protects my self-esteem, sense of belonging, status, and ego. It often guards principles and statements of truth that I value. Anyone, or anything, that challenges my self is open to attack, defensive and offensive. My response is that of a crusader; the battle is about more than just me, it is about truth and what is right. In God’s reflection, I can actually see the god hidden within.
How I view others is critical as I examine my walls. What are my tactics in the daily walk that demonstrate my purpose? What happens when I defend or attack others? In those moments, do I believe they are God’s chosen, special individuals who God has tagged to receive the gift of grace, unconditional acceptance, and love?
Criticism, ridicule, causing embarrassment, and verbal attack all say that I am more important than my victim is. Paul knew this and gave us a piece of advice. “Don’t hit back, discover beauty in everyone.” (Romans 12.17) Discovering the good is God’s way of helping us see through His eyes.