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【雙語園地】婚姻的功課

Reflections on Marriage
-- Ephesus
婚姻的功課
-- 以弗所的見證
By Ephesus
Chinese Translation:Evie Xiao
作者:以弗所
翻譯:蕭 凌

 

如果要我談談我的體會,我會說:"在一段婚姻裡,要記得把神放在首位;要想能愛得無怨無悔,必須要先學會愛神。" -- 以弗所
If I were to give one suggestion, I would say this: " Remember to always put God first in the marriage relationship; the only way that you can love your spouse unconditionally is if you learn to love God first. " -- Ephesus


時光飛逝,如白駒過隙。不知不覺間,我與妻子已共渡了我倆的第一個結婚週年紀念日。一年的時光雖短,但在神大能的保守下,我們得以經歷許多祂所賜的奇異恩典。

A year has passed by so quickly that I cannot recall where all the time has gone. Last month, I celebrated my first wedding anniversary with my wife so our editor graciously gave me the chance to share some thoughts and lessons that God has taught me. Although a year seems like a short time, God has blessed us with many instances of His divine providence and wonderful grace.

 

我與妻子在同一間教會聚會多年,然而直到幾年前我倆才正式認識。在神的帶領下,我們開始了傳統的婚前交往,並在一年前喜結良緣。或許有人會認為,結婚只是人生的另一個階段,但對我來說,婚姻卻是一個神施恩賜福的管道。一年的婚姻生活讓我明白了三件事:愛是一個選擇、婚姻的真正目的在於榮耀神、婚姻更加凸顯我們對主耶穌的需要。

Even though my wife and I have attended the same church for many years, we did not formally meet until a few years ago. Under God ' s guidance, we started our courtship and married last year in our home church. Even though some may think that marriage is just another step in life, I find that marriage is an instrument of God ' s grace and blessings. There are three lessons that I have learned so far and would like to share: love is a decision, marriage is for God ' s glory, and married life magnifies our need for Jesus.

 

為何說愛是一個選擇?雖然這已是身邊朋友的老生常談,但直至結婚後,我才體會到箇中真義。在單身漢的家庭生活中,既不須愛人,自然也無所謂被愛。魯益士曾說:"似水柔情並非真愛,真愛乃在乎於恆切期望所愛慕之人無論如何都能獲得最終的幸福。"雙方在婚前就應徹底明白,除非我們首先愛神,並且無條件地去愛對方,否則我們不可能在婚姻裡獲得真正的幸福。無條件之愛,意味著以寬容忍耐之心看待對方的過錯、缺點和軟弱。而這一切,只有在明白主耶穌對我們的赦免和愛之後,才有可能做到。

First, what does it mean that love is a decision? This phrase has been often repeated by those around me but the truth behind the phrase was only felt when I experienced it in my marriage. When one is single, there is no need to love anyone other than oneself as there is no giving of love and there is no receiving of love. C.S. Lewis said that "love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained." Before we got married, we needed to thoroughly understand that to make our marriage work, we needed to unconditionally love God and love each other. Unconditional love includes bearing with each other's wrong, shortcomings, and weaknesses in view of how Christ forgives and loves us.

 

不得不承認,婚後這一年裡,大部分的過錯和失誤都在於我,為此我要感謝一直以寬容之心愛我的妻子。愛,就必須付出努力、堅持和忍耐。或許無需付出愛更為輕鬆,但一個人若能夠去愛他人,是源於主耶穌愛那些不配得到祂愛的人(羅3:5)。同樣的,當我的言行舉止或有不足時,妻子卻還定意愛我,是因為主耶穌在十字架上所成就的大功,使我們得以品嚐主愛的滋味。

I admit to committing the vast majority of the wrongs and mistakes in our first year of marriage thus I thank my wife for being so gracious and loving in spite of my sinfulness. Indeed, it seems much easier to not love anyone at all because love involves effort, perseverance, and patience. However, God tells us that our ability to love stems from Christ ' s love towards us even though we are unworthy and underserved of His love (see Romans 5:8). Thus when I interact with my wife, I learn to appreciate what Christ has done by dying on the cross for my sins even though I do not warrant His love. In a similar way, even though my actions and words may be insufficient or lacking, my wife chooses to love me because of the love that we first experience in Christ and His work on the cross.

 

其次,婚姻的首要目的在於榮耀神。而在當今這個只重視自愛與追求個人享樂的時代,聽起來簡直就是天方夜譚。預備婚禮期間,我和妻子都漸漸意識到,在婚禮中,人很容易變得過分注重自身和周圍的人。我們必須常常提醒自己,只有神才能使我們在婚姻裡享有真正的合一。從婚前交往開始,直到生命的盡頭,我們都要在婚姻裡榮耀神。
Secondly, I learned that marriage ' s central purpose is to bring glory to God. This thought seems to be quite foreign to the contemporary mind in which self-love and personal happiness are cherished and pursued. During the wedding planning, both my wife and I gradually realized that the wedding easily becomes focused on ourselves and those around us. We had to constantly remind ourselves that God is the one who unites us in marriage and that our marriage from the point of our courtship to the end of our lives should all be to the glory of God.

 

也許是身為年輕人的緣故,從訂婚起,我們就要面對許多的困難。許多人認為我們結婚過早,或交往時間不足,或缺乏建立穩定家庭的經濟基礎。我同意,無論是促進雙方了解的適度婚前交往,或是一份有穩定收入的工作,對於任何即將步入婚姻的年輕人來說,都是極為重要的。但我更相信神是我們的供應者,祂必會祝福信靠祂的兒女。沒有任何人能預測自己的未來,安排妥當並非就能為人生安全感加分。其實,聖經已多次提醒我們,人的生命不過是一片雲霧,我們的一生都掌握在這位全能神的手中(雅4:13-15,路12:22-34)。故此,無論我們是單身與否,我們都應知道,婚姻並非單為我們自己的享樂而設;當男人和女人進入到這一段以主耶穌為中心的關係時,神就藉著婚姻作為祂施恩的管道,而我們則藉著婚姻將榮耀歸給神。

Furthermore, as we were considered a young couple, there were many challenges that we had to surmount during our engagement. Many people thought that we were too young to marry citing that we had not dated long enough or that we did not have a very solid financial foundation to start a family. I would agree that spending a period of time in courtship to allow the couple to know each other well and obtaining a stable career are important things. However, we trusted in God to be our Provider and that He will bless us if we put our faith in Him. Neither of us can predict the future nor can we make any arrangements to increase our feelings of security. In fact, the Bible reminds us in many places that our lives are temporary and that our earthly lives are in the hands of our Sovereign God (see James 4:13-15; Luke 12:22-34). Thus, I encourage those who are single or in a courtship to consider that marriage is not for our own happiness or contentment; marriage is God ' s institution for men and women to enter into a Christ-centred relationship that brings Him glory.

 

最後,婚姻關係會讓人更加體會到他對主耶穌的需要。在許多年輕人的想像當中,浪漫的訂婚、完美的婚禮,以及對幸福生活點點滴滴的憧憬,結婚似乎是人生的一個高峰。在此,我並無意貶低婚姻的美好以及婚姻帶給我們的愉悅時光。但神也通過婚姻讓我們變得更加聖潔。妻子在我身邊就是一個很好的提醒,我尚有許多需要悔改之處,而這無一不需要聖靈在我心中做完全改變更新的工作。人的罪性總是如野火燒不盡,我們需要在罪控制我們之前就將之治死。有許多次,我被自己的自私、恐懼及軟弱所勝,以至作出了傷害妻子和得罪神的行為。因此,婚姻就像一面鏡子,照出我們屬靈生命中的瑕疵和人的善變。必須時刻記住,罪已不能再在我們身上做王,因主耶穌已在十架上得勝。

Thirdly, I have experienced the fact that marriage magnifies our need for Jesus. Many young people would think that marriage is the apex of their lives may it be the romantic engagement, the perfect wedding ceremony, and the many ideas of how wonderful married life would be. I don ' t want to discount the beauty of marriage and the joy that married couples experience. I just want to highlight the fact that God can use marriage as an instrument of our sanctification. My wife is my constant reminder of how much I need to repent and ask for the Holy Spirit to work in me to change me thoroughly. Our sinful nature always tries to resurrect itself but we need to always kill temptation and sin before it takes hold of us. I can recall many times where I was tempted by my selfishness, fears, and excuses leading to decisions that were hurtful to my spouse and dishonouring to God. Thus marriage becomes a mirror by which the blemishes and inconsistencies of our spiritual character is displayed. We need to remember that sin no longer has dominion over us because Jesus has won the victory on the cross.

 

感謝神,在我們過往一年的婚姻生活中,為我和妻子所成就的一切;我也感謝妻子如此地深愛我這樣一個不配的丈夫。我深深地期待看到,在未來的每一個日子裡,神將會以怎樣的方式去帶領我和妻子奔走前面的天路呢?

I would like to take the opportunity to thank God for all that He has done for both my wife and I during our first year in marriage. Also, I would like to thank my wife for always showing her love to me even when I least deserve it; I can't wait to see how God will lead us in our journey together in the days ahead!

 

昔日真理報

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