Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bonds that Liberate

"People say of marriage that it is boring, when what they mean is that it terrifies them: too many and too deep are its searing revelations. ... They say of children that they are... brats..., when what they mean is that the importance of parents with respect to the future of their children is now known with greater clarity...than ever before.
"... No tame project, marriage. The raising of children...brings each of us breathtaking vistas of our own inadequacy.
"... [So,] we want desperately to blame [family life,] the institution which places our inadequacy in the brilliant glare of interrogation. ...
"The quantity of sheer...selfishness in the human breast (in my breast) is a never-failing source of wonderment. I do not want to be disturbed, challenged, troubled. Huge regions of myself belong only to me. ... Seeing myself through the unblinking eyes of an intimate, intelligent other, an honest spouse, is humiliating beyond anticipation. Maintaining a familial steadiness whatever the state of my own emotion is a standard by which I stand daily condemned...
"[Yet] my dignity as a human being depends perhaps more on what sort of husband and parent I am, than on my professional work I am called to do. My bonds to them hold me back from many sorts of opportunities. And yet these do not feel like bonds. They liberation. They force me to be a different sort of human being, in a way in which I want and need to be forced."

-Michael Novak, quoted by Bruce C. Hafen, "Covenant Hearts: Marriage and the Joy of Human Love"

1 comment:

  1. Great quote! I loved this book! I Should check it out again!