She must and shall go free

I’ve been married a month, and while Bonhoeffer is here talking about “bearing each others burdens” in the context of Christian fellowship it seemed a pretty damn fine exposition on marriage.
It is first of all, the freedom of the other person that is a burden to the Christian. The other’s freedom collides with his own autonomy, yet he must recognise it. He could get rid of this burden by refusing the other person his freedom, by constraining him and thus doing violence to his personality, by stamping his own image upon him.
But if he let’s God create his image in him, he by this token gives him his freedom and himself bears the burden of this freedom of another creature of God. The freedom of the other person includes all that we mean by a person’s nature, indiviuality and endowment. It also includes his weaknesses and oddities which are such a trial to our patience, everything that produces frictions, conflicts and collisions among us. To bear the burden of the other person means involvement with the created reality of the other, to accept and affirm it, and, in bearing with it, to break through to the point where we take joy in it.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Life Together

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July 2010

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