― Mother Teresa of Calcutta
All of us come into the world through the same process. We are the physical manifestation of the spiritual union between man and woman. In the womb we grow from a single cell into many. Our nature is formed long before our feet touch the earth. In fact the womb is akin to a capsule in outer space (astronauts refer to their safety tether as an umbilical chord when they space walk).
The concept of animism is the idea that humans are in possession of a soul (or is it the other way around?). The soul is the eternal essence of a life force which is given flesh to exist within the physical world. Our souls are said to have come from the spirit world...
As the Earth's moon affects the tides, the planets and stars possess their own gravitational pull; which subtly act upon the developing embryo in the ocean of the uterus (See Zodiac Signs). The physical endowments of which we are attributed are contributions from mother and father; however, our souls are spiritual gifts from the Heavens.
"Then the Lord God took some soil from the ground and formed a man out of it, he breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live."
― Genesis 2:7
The first 'parents' of mankind were believed to be Adam and Eve. Almost all cultures share a similar creation story, but the point of this one was to explain human nature and our tragic flaw. We are curious creatures who succumb to the frailties of temptation. The first man, Adam, was given rule to all the earth, but when the Lord God saw that he was lonely, he put Adam to sleep and from his rib he formed Eve, Adam's companion. The story goes that it was Eve who was tricked by the snake in the Garden of Eden who tempted her to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Lord warned Man that if he ate from this tree that he would die on that day. When Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit, she gave some to her husband and told him to eat, and Adam obeyed. The Lord God was walking in the garden when he called out to his children and discovered that they were hiding from Him and ashamed of their nakedness. When He had understood what they had done, God punished Eve by giving her trouble and pain in child birth, and Adam was sentenced to labor over the land to provide for his family for listening to Eve and eating the fruit. Both were cast out of the Garden and the snake would have to crawl on his belly eating dust forever as enemies of Eve's children.
The story goes on to detail the accounts of Adam and Eve's children, the nature of being human, and comes to an interesting plot twist found in the new testament. This plot twist focuses on the birth of Jesus and what the church calls the "Holy Family". After thousands of years of human evolution and the various cultures that dominated the earth including, the Egyptian, Persian, and Roman Empires we find a cosmic anomaly occurring around the year 7 B.C. This anomaly was a rare series of astrological coincidences which manifested in the sky above Jerusalem, a spiritual hub that has been mired in conflict for over two thousand years (still to this day). The Persian priest astrologers, known as the Magi or wise men, followed the stars to find a family sheltered in a barn with a swaddled newborn child. This child of course was Jesus (originally pronounced Yeshuah in Aramaic). The Holy Family includes Joseph and Mary (Yossef and Maryam in Aramaic).
I have previously written about the details around Mary's virgin birth (which can be read here), but what I didn't discuss was the immaculate conception. Many Christians believe this to be referring to Christ's birth; however, it is actually in reference to Mary herself. The sinful nature of humans has existed since Eve was first deceived in the Garden. Mankind was struggling to keep his head above water while inundated in a world of sin. Complete corruption in politics, religion, and of the family was looming on the horizon. Infidelity and selfish concern was the driving force. Spiritual death was certain; until the Lord intervened and used Mary to redeem Eve's original sin. Mary's birth was the immaculate conception, she was without corruption and humbled herself to obey the Lord as she was visited by an Angel (Gabriel).
“Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
From Adam came Eve, and from Mary came Jesus. God's plans often appear backwards to man, but are effective none the less. The tides of corruption did change. Rome and its Caesars no longer exist as the rulers of the earth. Most of the earth today knows His name. His story and teachings offer guidance to human beings in search of truth. His teachings reflected His manger birth; they were simple and appealed to the poor. They did not appeal to pomp or ceremony as much as they focused on freedom and compassion. He spoke of the spiritual world and taught the value of forgiveness and love. In other words, he restored the imbalance that threatens families today.
I believe that marriage is the peace accord between Men and Women. I believe that faithful marriage rests on a cornerstone of faith. Children base their notion of a Heavenly Father from their earthly father. Son's model their behavior on what they observe from their dads. Derelict, abusive, or unfaithful fathers basically repeat what they learned from their own models. Daughters too are affected as their relationships with men are strongly influenced by their father figures. Abusive mothers who criticize and henpeck their husbands basically send the message to their daughters that emasculation is the way to communicate with men which hurts both genders. Due to the nature of biology, mothers are inextricably bonded to their child through the process of pregnancy; however, without further care the child will soon perish after birth. This is why women must be selective when choosing a suitable partner in raising children and men the same. In today's society, more emphasis is given to selfish instant gratification without care to the consequences of flippant behavior. More and more children are growing up in broken house holds or worse yet, not being given a chance at life at all. Human nature is once again taking hold as the material world increases while the spiritual world declines.
Never having been married myself, I can only use what I have observed. I know that marriage is only the beginning. The relationship will endure many trials and tribulations. There will be tests of conviction and character. There will be failures and forgiveness. There must be Love in order to overcome.
I believe that in order to redeem ourselves from sin, we must have faith. Faith can be practiced and developed through habits of fidelity. When we can be trusted with small things, then we are equipped to handle the big matters.
Then we can be truly faithful to God, and His breath within our own souls, and ultimately to each other.