Melvin David shares how the Holy Spirit revealed to him the richness of the vocation of marriage, all the while healing and nourishing the relationship.

How many times have we sang songs like “Holy Spirit is my helper” during retreats, only to feel the excitement of His presence fading away after a few weeks!

Less than a year after our wedding, my wife and I had a fully blown-out argument over phone while at work. I remember seething with anger at the way my words were being misinterpreted. Feelings of being wrongly accused and being rejected brought me to a stage where I even began thinking where this relationship was headed. But this time, my self-righteous ego kept repeating, “I’ve done nothing wrong this time! And I’ve had enough”.

After the call ended, I remember driving my car out of the parking lot into a stormy evening. The slow traffic; the teeming rain; the wipers blazing all out. The storm outside and the storm inside – my thoughts and negative feelings began to take control over me. “I just cannot forgive”. “How can I live with this person… I don’t even feel loved in this relationship”. “I’m not being understood”. During that time, my car stereo was playing an audio Bible and it was at Romans Chapter 5.

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:6-8)

God used this verse to speak to me. God did not wait for us to be perfect and holy in order to desire our relationship. If God is the bridegroom and we are His Bride, he was willing to die for me even when I was in a state of sin. God’s love remains in spite of my sin. Not just in the words “I love you”, but in His very own act of dying – for me. That left me thinking about how God wants me to play the role of a husband. If God is willing to do that and I call myself His disciple, I need to take the first step of love rather than look for the shortcomings in our relationship.

This humbling insight started making inroads and I decided to forgive. But it was not easy smiling through the pain. Well, little did I know how the Holy Spirit was working on the other side as well! By the time I reached home, my wife was waiting for me to say how she was prompted by the Spirit to understand the situation and reconcile with me. She had the same feelings I had and my words had hurt her as well. He was actively working through both of us at the same time! This verse has since become the bulwark of our relationship, and since that time, our differences of opinion in marriage has not led me to despair. His intervention helped me to understand and love my wife the way God created her and over these many years, we have strived to build a culture of reconciliation. God slowly started removing the scales of my own self-righteousness and taught me to love the other for her own good rather than for myself. I can’t thank God enough for His timeless and timely Love!

The CCC teaches about the Holy Spirit in this way: “No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” Now God’s Spirit, who reveals God, makes known to us Christ – his Word, his living Utterance. But the Spirit does not speak about himself. The Spirit who “has spoken through the prophets” makes us hear the Father’s Word, but we do not hear the Spirit himself. We know him only in the movement by which he reveals the Word to us and disposes us to welcome him in faith. The Spirit of truth who “unveils” Christ to us “will not speak on his own.” (CCC 687)

How many times have we sang songs like “Holy Spirit is my helper” during retreats, only to feel the excitement of His presence fading away after a few weeks!

Less than a year after our wedding, my wife and I had a fully blown-out argument over phone while at work. I remember seething with anger at the way my words were being misinterpreted. Feelings of being wrongly accused and being rejected brought me to a stage where I even began thinking where this relationship was headed. But this time, my self-righteous ego kept repeating, “I’ve done nothing wrong this time! And I’ve had enough”.

After the call ended, I remember driving my car out of the parking lot into a stormy evening. The slow traffic; the teeming rain; the wipers blazing all out. The storm outside and the storm inside – my thoughts and negative feelings began to take control over me. “I just cannot forgive”. “How can I live with this person… I don’t even feel loved in this relationship”. “I’m not being understood”. During that time, my car stereo was playing an audio Bible and it was at Romans Chapter 5.

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:6-8).

God used this verse to speak to me. God did not wait for us to be perfect and holy in order to desire our relationship. If God is the bridegroom and we are His Bride, he was willing to die for me even when I was in a state of sin. God’s love remains in spite of my sin. Not just in the words “I love you”, but in His very own act of dying – for me. That left me thinking about how God wants me to play the role of a husband. If God is willing to do that and I call myself His disciple, I need to take the first step of love rather than look for the shortcomings in our relationship.

This humbling insight started making inroads and I decided to forgive. But it was not easy smiling through the pain. Well, little did I know how the Holy Spirit was working on the other side as well! By the time I reached home, my wife was waiting for me to say how she was prompted by the Spirit to understand the situation and reconcile with me. She had the same feelings I had and my words had hurt her as well. He was actively working through both of us at the same time! This verse has since become the bulwark of our relationship, and since that time, our differences of opinion in marriage has not led me to despair. His intervention helped me to understand and love my wife the way God created her and over these many years, we have strived to build a culture of reconciliation. God slowly started removing the scales of my own self-righteousness and taught me to love the other for her own good rather than for myself. I can’t thank God enough for His timeless and timely Love!

The CCC teaches about the Holy Spirit in this way: “No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” Now God’s Spirit, who reveals God, makes known to us Christ – his Word, his living Utterance. But the Spirit does not speak about himself. The Spirit who “has spoken through the prophets” makes us hear the Father’s Word, but we do not hear the Spirit himself. We know him only in the movement by which he reveals the Word to us and disposes us to welcome him in faith. The Spirit of truth who “unveils” Christ to us “will not speak on his own.” (CCC 687)