The Secret to True Love… from a Mattress??

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“The marriage bed is an altar.” (Jason Evert)

The patterned comforter, comfy throw pillows, and springy mattress may not look like much, but neither does a large stone table. These ordinary places are transformed through the extraordinary mysteries that take place on them.

Sitting in a pew, looking up at the altar, I began to realize the depth of this statement. If the bed is an altar, then the act that takes place on it is a direct parallel to the act of Christ giving His body and blood to His bride, the Church, at the altar.

“Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for a friend ” (John 15:13)

I watched as the priest handled the Body and Blood, lovingly and reverently. The God of all things, vulnerably placing Himself in the priest’s hands. I began to think of how often we receive this gift of Christ without realizing the immense greatness of it. Maybe we are distracted, or maybe we take it for granted since we can receive Him daily if we choose, but either way we do not always receive Him with our eyes fully open.

And how often does this same thing happen in marriage? Each spouse completely surrenders themselves into the hands of the other, becoming one with the other. To be completely vulnerable with another person, to offer your heart and your body entirely, is terrifying! When you offer all that you are, you long to be appreciated; to be received with complete love and respect; and to be seen for who you truly are within. Yet because of the Fall we often fear that being vulnerable may lead to being turned away, taken for granted, used, judged, or misunderstood—All of which are done to Christ constantly.

These fears and failures to recognize the greatness of the immense gift within marriage can stem from many things: lust blinds the gift, lack of appreciation dulls the gift, and lack of true understanding of the gift cheapens it. In other words…

  • Being able to only see what is in front of your eyes (the body of your spouse, or the simple appearance of the host) blinds you from the immensity and beauty of the gift you are receiving.
  • Not realizing what an incredible honor it is to be trusted with the heart and soul of another (or to receive the God of all things into your own body) takes away the appreciation of the gift.
  • And not recognizing the mystery of all that stems forth from the gift and the purpose of that gift cheapens it and makes it shallow.

So whether you are married, discerning marriage with someone, or feel called to marriage as your future vocation, I propose that the way to best prepare to receive the gift of your spouse is to first learn how to receive the gift of Christ. And the best way to prepare to fully give yourself to your spouse, modeling Christ’s gift of self, is to learn first how to completely give yourself back to Christ in return.

In learning to receive, we must pray that our eyes may be opened to the invisible mystery embodied in a physical state. We must become fully present, and fully aware. We also must seek the heart of the giver, that we may better understand the greatness and pureness of His gift on a personal level. Then we will be prepared to seek these same things in marriage.

In learning to give, we must recognize that Christ held nothing back from us out of His love for us, and His covenant with us. He showed that the call to give is completely independent of the reception of that gift. By committing your life to Christ, to serving and loving Him, even when you don’t “feel like it,” you learn what it means to commit to love, and to the vows of the sacrament.

The simple statement, “the marriage bed is an altar,” reveals the secret of what it means to give and to receive love. In recognizing this divine parallel, we can greater understand the mystery and splendor of the gift of Christ, and in doing so prepare for the gift of self and reception of another in Holy Matrimony.

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kaylinKaylin Koslosky is finishing up her final year at Colorado State University, where she is pursuing her love for science and secondary education. She is a member of Chi Omega, a FOCUS student missionary, and a Biblestudy and retreat leader for RamCatholic. She loves hiking and being outdoors, and is passionate about sharing the beauty of Christ and this world with others. She is currently working to publish her first book with her best friend Megan Finegan as a way of spreading a much-needed message of love to her female peers.

30 Comments

  1. Beautiful article. Thank you!

    God Bless you :)

    By Maria | 1 year ago Reply
  2. I loved this!!! Thanks for sharing!

    By Kerishe | 1 year ago Reply
  3. That was amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing this lovely piece.
    May God bless you!

    By Maritza | 1 year ago Reply
  4. A profound Reflection on the true meaning of Holy Marriage!
    Thanks God For Kaylin Existence!

    By Alvaro | 1 year ago Reply
  5. Thank you Jason. God bless you and your ministry.

    By April White | 1 year ago Reply
  6. Awesome description and analogy Jason‼️
    It totally resonated with and How I’ve always felt about the Marital bed✨❤️
    Thank you‼️

    By Lucía | 1 year ago Reply
  7. Awesome description and analogy Jason‼️
    It totally resonated with me on how I’ve always felt about the Marital
    bed✨❤️
    Thank you‼️

    By Lucía | 1 year ago Reply
  8. Your are right on. Your are totally correct in your point.
    Thank you for sharing.

    By Carol | 1 year ago Reply
  9. A deep Reflection on the Sacred Marriage!

    Thanks God for the Existence of Kaylin!

    By Alvaro | 1 year ago Reply
  10. Dis post demands silent meditation

    By Sopuruchukwu | 1 year ago Reply
  11. Great message!!

    By Therese | 1 year ago Reply
  12. Lovely article.

    By Jonelle | 1 year ago Reply
  13. Love this! This is written so beautifully

    By Jessica | 1 year ago Reply
  14. Beautiful! I’m getting married next week (!), so this couldn’t have come at a better time.

    By Megan | 1 year ago Reply
  15. Relating a sexual relationship to the Eucharist???????? Brilliant. A refreshing take on the sacrament of matrimony. 10 years into marriage, I’ve encountered a lot of opinions. This is one I’ll keep & read often…

    By Amber | 1 year ago Reply
  16. Fruitful and inspiring!! It’s easy to get caught up in looking for a guy when in reality i should fall deeper in love worth Christ and trust that he will bring the man to me. I love this quote by Jason Evert, ” Run to God and after awhile of running look to see who kept up with you because those are the men you should discern. “

    By Kelly | 1 year ago Reply
  17. Wonderful article! Thank you for sharing! I hope you don’t mind but I referred to your article on my blog. It was so wonderful I wanted to share it with my friends! Thank you again.

    God bless!
    Suzi

    By Suzi Whitford | 1 year ago Reply
  18. This is just what I needed.

    By Elizabeth | 1 year ago Reply
  19. This is just what I needed to read today.

    By Elizabeth | 1 year ago Reply
  20. Thank you so much for this. I got married to the love of my life two months ago, and we are having such difficulties in our sexuality – we are realizing I may have a disorder that is making things very difficult and emotionally trying. Our hearts are hurting so much! I was just now searching the internet for hope.

    “Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for a friend ” (John 15:13)

    By Anonymous | 1 year ago Reply
  21. Nice analogy, it was beautiful

    By Jean Marie | 1 year ago Reply
  22. Beautiful.Never thought of the marriage bed with this dimension

    By Sarita | 1 year ago Reply
  23. This is a beautiful article on marriage. Glad I found it. Thank you.

    By Mrs. M. Monahan | 1 year ago Reply
  24. This is a beautiful article on marriage. Thank you. Glad I found it,

    By Mrs. M. Monahan | 1 year ago Reply
  25. Thank you for writing this. I hadn’t heard that the marriage bed is an altar before and this explains it very well.

    By Daniel | 1 year ago Reply
  26. Great sharing. I learn about my marriage life. Most of marriage couple always complain each other. Praise the Lord!!!

    By Grace Kelly Shung | 1 year ago Reply
  27. Beautiful article about the sacredness of marriage.

    By Beryl Tomlin | 1 year ago Reply
  28. “Married people ought not to keep their affections fixed on the sensual pleasures of their vocation, but ought afterwards to wash their hearts to purify them as soon as possible, so that they may then with a calm mind devote themselves to other purer and higher activities. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 39: “The Sanctity of the Marriage Bed” St. Francis de Sales from his classic on lay spirituality, ” pg. 266)

    By Lisa De Ruyter | 1 year ago Reply
  29. Love GOD first.

    By Richard | 1 year ago Reply
  30. Very well said, I believe this is a very big part that is lacking in this world, I will pray for you and your friend in completion of this book to share with ALL the world. And hopefully I get to buy a copy to read, and share with those I meet. Please pray for me as well, as I begin to write my book about love, and marriage prep for young people.

    By Ryan | 1 year ago Reply

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