When Opposites Attract
By: Ginny Luedeman
I had Trouble understanding the male-female
relationship. With an alcoholic father, I had a rather rough
upbringing. Dad ended up divorcing my mom and leaving us. I developed
a fear of men, and my relationships with them were neither productive
After I’d gone through a number of failed relationships, including a marriage, someone introduced me to Mary Baker Eddy’s book Science and Health. This book was written over 100 years ago, but its ideas are still relevant and powerful today. As I read it, I noticed a comforting feeling I’d had as a young girl when I prayed. This feeling gradually led me to a comfortable acceptance of my intuitive, spiritual nature.
Soon I learned that studying Science and Health together with the Bible kept me in touch with an ability to perceive things in the light of God’s creating—that is, with spiritual sense. A passage I love says: “A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher realms. It raises the thinker into his native air of insight and perspicacity” (p.128). That term native air, to me, means it’s natural for us to be united with an intelligent source that gives ideas to protect and guide us. I’ve come to trust that spiritual sense and, oftentimes, trust it first instead of after everything else fails.
Early on I began to realize how spirituality was showing me what constituted a good relationship. I came to reason this way: The qualities of God that a man expresses identify his true, spiritual nature. And because God is everywhere, all the good I could ever hope to find in a husband is right here, right now, with me, from Him—he is Spirit and the sum of all good. So, I concluded, I didn’t have to wait for a man to bring more of good into my life.
That realization opened up a consistent way of thinking with spiritual sense and intuition, in which all kinds of possibilities existed and I could feel fulfilled. Instead of feeling afraid of men or believing that I would never be able to relate to them, I began to realize that I had a spiritual basis for understanding and relating to them. Maybe, I thought, I could even have a worthwhile relationship with one.
I realized that if I wanted to understand the true meaning of any relationship, I needed to see how it expressed the good nature that God causes it to have. And I ended up making a list of specific spiritual qualities (74 to be exact) that constituted the spiritual nature both of men and relationships.
Instead of looking for love or kindness in the personality of another, I began to realize that those very qualities I hoped to find in relationships were already inherent in my own nature as an individual expression of God. And a desire to see them in others took relationships to a whole new level.
For a number of weeks, I kept on with this questioning, and familiarized myself thoroughly with these 74 spiritual qualities. And I began to feel a wonderful completeness. It seemed to me I was getting to know my spiritual sense of husband. It was wonderful. This step took me from being a woman looking for something from someone else, to being an individual with Godlike qualities to share with others from wanting, to feeling complete.
Each night before I went to sleep, I would think about some of the qualities I was looking for in a man, until I could sense the God likeness that was at their root—until I had a better grasp of love, or whatever it was I was trying to understand. Then I would think, Right here, right now, each of these qualities is already mine from God.
Within a short time, a friend called and invited me to a religious service to be conducted by a chaplain-trainee on summer duty. When I walked into the military chapel with my friends, they introduced me to Craig. Instantly I knew this was the man I was going to marry. But later, as we talked, it looked like we were polar opposites. We discovered we had nothing in common. He was a chaplain-trainee. I was a hard rock singer. He spoke some foreign languages and had studied several more. I was a high-school drop-out. He loved the classical French horn, and I loved rock music. He was an only child and didn’t see himself being a dad anytime soon. I had a child and wanted many children. I didn’t know much at all about the international scene. He was a world traveler. We apparently had no common denominator, no basis for our ever getting together.
But I still had this conviction that we were right for one another. And then I thought, Well, spiritual intuition has to be what’s working here, because there’s really nothing else going on! Spirituality would have to be the basis for any relationship we would ever have. That feeling was clear and powerful. And I trusted it completely. We were engaged within ten days of that first meeting.
We’ve been married now for 35 years. Military life, challenges of raising six children, unemployment, illnesses—you name it—have required new and inspired guidance. Relying on spiritual intuition has helped us make choices that bring solutions. It has led Craig and me to be tender and kind with each other, and to love more unselfishly. More and more, we’ve grown to feel that we’re of one mind.
Looking back, I can see that finding my identity as spiritual—whole and complete in God—was what enabled me to love on a more spiritual level. That kind of love doesn’t look for or see difference, but looks for and sees what unites.
By: Craig Luedeman
Shortly before Ginny and I met, I came to California to
take a course in Christian Science that was part of the spiritual
preparation for my work as a chaplain. This teaching gave me a much
clearer concept of the unity of male and female qualities within each
of us as God’s ideas. As a result, I felt less stress about finding
someone ‘out there,’ and began to accept more of my own
completeness in Him.
But I must admit I was surprised to see how quickly my acceptance of these ideas bore fruit in my social life. It was as if I was expecting a cup of water and got a tidal wave!
As Ginny has explained, the differences in our backgrounds were initially challenging for both of us. When we were together, despite what appeared to be very different life experiences, I intuitively felt we’d found a mutual love of spiritual things that could conquer what life threw at us. But my marrying a former hard rock singer who was divorced, with a five-year-old, was something of a challenge. At times, I felt torn between what I had been raised to think was important in a wife and what my newly awakened spiritual intuition was telling me. As I prayed it became clear that I could trust this intuition, and my doubts and fears disappeared. And our lives together have been a blessing for both of us.
Looking back now over the past 35 years of marriage—which like most have included major challenges (such as severe illness, a long period of unemployment, and raising a large family, including two grandchildren)—I can now see how the intuition Ginny discusses formed the bedrock of our relationship. From the beginning, we had to listen to God, rather than rely on shared thought patterns or human opinions, for making decisions. And we’ve come to see that this listening is much more reliable and effective in blessing a marriage than any amount of human wisdom.
“Copyright©2004 The Christian Science Publishing Society, All rights reserved, Reproduced with permission”.
Copyright ï¿½ 2004 ginnyl.com. All rights reserved.