Evolutionary scientists once created the myth of vestigial organs, to suggest that evolution really did happen and left a trail for redundant biological left-overs.
The initial list in the 1890’s comprised over one hundred and eighty items, but a hundred years later there were no human organs left on the list.
The concept was an evolutionary mind-trick to beguile the gullible with pseudo-scientific ‘evidence’ in support of evolution.
Vestigial, then, means a redundant and left over remnant, as a reminder of some previous reality or application. To generalise the term we could suggest that your baby clothes and tricycle are vestigial items from your childhood, which have no application in your life today. Redundancy and disappearance of some previously existing reality are key thoughts in the term.
Some husbands and wives live as if their spouse is now redundant, at least in major part. At some time in the past the spouse was the centre of their life. Being together, sharing dreams, building a future together and being sweet to each other were mutually rewarding bonds that gave each one a high value in the others life.
Over time, however, it is possible for people to drift apart.
They can find that they no longer treasure their spouse or the time they two can share together. Their individual lives, aspirations, interests and meaning can come from quite independent sources, and so they live in company but not in one-ness as they did before.
In such situations it is even quite possible that the spouses or one to the other at least, can become redundant. It is quite possible for a man or woman to be far more interested in their career or outside interests than in the relationship they once valued with their spouse.
It is quite possible for a parent to become more engaged with the life and interests of their children, than in the bond they share with their spouse.
A Remnant Reminder
The term vestigial also signals that the spouse’s current existence is not what previously existed. The husband or wife was at one time the delight of their spouse. They were the source of delight and hope for the future.
Over time that reality died away, and became ‘extinct’ in the relationship.
In place of that person who was once the focus of all the other’s hopes and dreams, there remains someone who is linked to that past person, but who is only a remnant and reminder of what once existed.
It is quite possible for a husband or wife to get on with their own life, as if the spouse were a mere appendage, and an almost vestigial one at that.
If the husband has already fathered the children and provided the house, then he can be effectively dispensed with by some wives, who now invest themselves in their children. If the wife has met the man’s
needs for a time, before he found other things to live for, he can then effectively abandon the wife, as no longer required to fulfil his needs.
Such a situation is an abuse of the marriage and completely contrary to what God created and the Bible instructs. Yet most people do what comes instinctively to them, not what is right.
A redundant, vestigial spouse is created by selfish people. When a man or woman lives for themself, seeking a life that meets their own needs, then they will use, abuse and discard other people, including their spouse. When they need the spouse, to meet emotional needs, affirm their personal value, give them hope for the future and so on, they will be closely bonded. Once they have found their feet better, and seen the challenges that pleasing a spouse can bring, they may then press on with their own pursuits, creating increasing distance between the couple.
They will also allow themselves to evolve from a loving and caring investor in the life of their spouse, to someone who is demanding and only looking for what they can extract from the spouse. They move themselves into a different place to the one they first occupied for their spouse.
A selfish wife will pursue the things she values, minimising the degree to which her husband will interfere with her quest for fulfilment. This is the opposite of being a wife, who is helper to her husband.
Instead of the husband being her world, he becomes her unwanted encumberance.
A selfish husband will pursue the things that appeal to him, avoiding the demands and challenges his wife presents to him. This is the opposite of being a husband, who is the “husbandman” of his wife and who is to love her unconditionally, helping her grow into the woman of God that she is meant to be.
Instead of the wife being his principal mission in life, she becomes the dead weight that he wants to be free from.
The epidemic of marriage breakdown which we see today is largely spawned from the kind of selfishness that creates vestigial spouses. The breakdown happens in the heart, long before it is seen by the community.
When men and women despise the one they committed themselves to love they reveal that they are intolerant, vengeful, selfish and of no true worth.
If a man is only as good as his ‘word’, then all those who abandon their marriage vows show how little they are worth. If their word of commitment to each other can be overturned and abandoned, then they as people are worth as little as their word.
Drift or Rejection
Some marriages break down because the couple drift apart. The selfishness of the spouses directs them to seek their own life, and, over time, they have a happy existence independent of their spouse. This is the process of drift that can happen without the couple being conscious of it.
Some couples don’t realise how far they have drifted apart until the husband retires from work and tries to fit into the home life which his wife has developed over four decades or so. The woman finds that she cannot tolerate her husband being around and the man finds that he just can’t relate to his wife like he used to.
However, selfishness can be much more decisive than the unseen drift. At times men and women actively reject their spouse, throwing them off like a redundant used rag, or rejecting them as some bodies reject transplanted organs.
When a selfish husband or wife discovers that their spouse is not what they hoped them to be, the response can be open rejection and despisement.
This rejection can be done in bitter disappointment, or it may be in calculated selfishness disposing of what does not serve their wishes.
Vestigial or Vital
Some bodily organs are almost redundant. While they are not vestigial in the way evolutionary myth once wanted them to be, they are not essential for life. The appendix, tonsils and gall-bladder are among organs that can be removed without killing the patient.
Other organs, however, are absolutely vital. Heart, lungs, liver and brain cannot be safely removed from a body. If these organs are diseased or damaged a person ends up on life-support machines just to stay alive.
Your spouse is not a vestigial or redundant element of your existence. In God’s scheme of things your spouse is meant to be a vital part of your whole life. You are bonded to them by God in the MoralMiracle of physical oneness.
No other person on the planet is recognised by God as having the same body as you, except your spouse. This is why all sexual activity outside of marriage is immoral and toxic, while such activity
in godly marriage is pure.
You are also able to reflect Christ and the Church in a unique way, through your marriage. Every husband is to be to his wife as Christ is to his bride, the Church, giving himself to perfect her and see her spiritually blessed. Every wife is to be to her husband as the Church is to Christ, finding her whole meaning in relationship with him, and serving him as the God-given helper.
No More Neglect
It is time to stop neglecting your spouse. They are not redundant, despite how they disappoint or frustrate you. You are to find in God all that you need to be the husband or wife you are created to be for your spouse.
Say “No” to neglect.
Take stock of your situation and determine to value your spouse.
Rebuild what has been undermined or washed away.
Recommit to the things you once so readily offered.
Forgive their failures and the frustrations and challenges they bring to you.
God expects your marriage to challenge you so much that you need to call on Him to perfect you, strengthen you and give you wisdom. In that process you will be forced to mature, grow, move in faith, rely on God, die to yourself, and many other things which the Bible says are important for you.
If you abandon your spouse, neglect them or make them a vestigial part of your life, you will fail to become the person God has designed you to be. Your own existence will become vestigial. You will become redundant to the purposes of God and waste your days in vanity.
Don’t let things remain as they are one minute longer. Call out to God right now to help you regain what you have lost and to become the person you need to be to fulfil God’s design, in the very marriage which you have right now.