Saint John Chrysostom (Golden Mouth) on Family and Love
I know this will be controversial (old fashioned etc.), but I am posting it for two reasons. First, it is relevant to my class on OT Backgrounds because it provides us with an early understanding of the roles of the husband and wife in a Christian family (and I assume they were fairly similar in an OT family). And second, it describes very well the importance of dependence for love.
Here is the text from Chrysostom (On Living Simply):
In a family the husband needs the wife to prepare his food; to make, mend, and wash his clothes; to fetch water; and to keep the rooms and furniture in the house clean. The wife needs the husband to till the soil, to build and repair the house, and to earn money to buy the goods they need.
God has put into a man’s heart the capacity to love his wife, and into a woman’s heart the capacity to love her husband. But their mutual dependence makes them love each other out of necessity also.
At times love within the heart may not be sufficient to maintain the bond of marriage. But love which comes from material necessity will give that bond the strength it needs to endure times of difficulty.
The same is true for society as a whole. God has put into every person’s heart the capacity to love his neighbors. But that love is immeasurably strengthened by their dependence on one another’s skills.