The Head and the Heart – The Two Should Be One

Julie Alexander

It was nine years ago this month that I laid in the ER at the hospital watching Greg hold our two-month-old son, Javan, in his arms. I had a heart attack, as a result of what is known as a SCAD, (Spontaneous Dissection of the Coronary Artery.) The artery that brings blood back to the heart had come apart, and the lack of sufficient blood to the heart triggered the heart attack. After the completion of the heart-cath study, the doctor informed Greg that he had a 10% chance of taking me out of the hospital alive. The prognosis was not good.

To make a long story short, we experienced a miracle. Countless prayers were offered through the intercession of John Paul II, and I received Last Rites, and as a result, the artery not only came back together on its own but reconstituted blood flow. Yes, the Divine Physician went to work given the fact that there was no surgery and no medication administered to address the issue.

Seven years later during the season of Lent Greg experienced 40 days of extreme headaches to include exhaustion and fatigue. He went through a battery of tests that yielded no diagnosis. After being referred to a doctor of physical therapy and undergoing a series of treatment, he also found relief after his time in the desert.

We shared our stories of difficulties with a dear priest, and as he was praying over us, he made the connection. “Ah, the head and the heart, he said they don’t operate independently but the head and heart, you see, they work together.”

The head should be the guide, for it is where the eyes are to see the vision and then plan what direction to go. The heart is there to communicate with the head and carry out the mission as discerned. As I continued to ponder our experiences, I thought about how the devil seeks to seduce a man through a woman. He works to remove the head using the heart, the heart of another woman. When the husband is distracted and fails to exercise his authority to protect, lead, and provide for the family the wife feels obligated to take over. She assumes the leadership of the husband, and this causes an infection that contaminates and can eventually kill the Sacrament of marriage.

There is, indeed, equal dignity between the husband and wife, but there are different roles for the two to keep things in the proper order. However, when disorder surfaces, it is evident that there are two heads in the home. The woman is deceived and led astray and starts to take over instead of following. The husband relinquishes his role and checks out, and at this point, the disintegration of the marriage has begun.

Therefore, the man must allow God to use and work with him as the head of the home. Not in a sense to lord over the wife, but to lead her to God. Satan, through our culture, has duped us to believe that for the man to lead is domineering and chauvinistic. As a result, the woman feels the need to rebel and prove herself capable of doing what the man was designed to do. When this happens, chaos and disorder is the result.

As we encountered our episodes, we learned all too well that one can’t operate effectively without the other. God, so graciously, allowed these things to happen in our lives to prove this point. In addition to the fact that we must keep him front and center in our lives.

My husband boldly leads my children and me to God, and I lovingly follow. My heart overflows with joy as I know of his confident and comfortable in carrying out his duties in the role that God has ordained for him.



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6 thoughts on “The Head and the Heart – The Two Should Be One

  1. Wow! I never knew about your heart problems. I met you and spoke briefly to you in the fall of 2008, at Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, at a conference for the 40th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae. Javan was just a few weeks old. What a miracle! God is good, always and all the time!!!

    • Suz, we have so many memories and friends from that trip. Yes, God is always good and I appreciate you taking the time to share your kind words. May God bless you!

  2. Although married for 43 years, my marriage went through the scenario presented above. I was not taking the lead in our families faith formation or trying to help my wife get to heaven. Thankfully, about 10 years or so ago, I got the message and now we are a much better example of how two become one in our Catholic marriage. Unfortunately, the side effects of my lack of being in the game for all those years is our three kids have all left the church and are agnostic or atheist. This is the desert we reside in now as we pray for their conversion. So much time was wasted in our earlier years with disastrous results. I am thankful for my wife who held up so much more than she should have for all those years until I finally caught on.
    Latch onto this wisdom sooner rather than later.

    • Skip, praise be to God for his patience and your perseverance. Scripture is full of stories of those who had fallen short of God’s desires, but redemption can be achieved and I suspect this to be true for your kids. You ARE that example now and my prayer is that your children and taking notice and now have a reference point. Thank your wife for us too and St. Monica we need your prayers! Skip, thanks for sharing your heart my friend.

  3. Heard you on EWTN program yesterday. I didn’t feel part of the conversation cuz my spouse doesn’t want a divorce or think counseling is needed. However, I read your blog on the heart n head and remembered what a priest once said about a friend of his having a drinking problem and such disorder in his home. And when his friend quit drinking the home was tidy and the kids were calmer cuz order had taken root. Also read skips comment, we’ve been married 36 yrs with 9 kids. My spouse is an alcoholic and I’m holding on to God. Pray I’ll persevere and he’ll take the reins, and that I’ll let go of the reins cuz I bet I’ve got that infection. Praise God for this site!

    • Mag, marriage is hard and to have the issue of an addiction like alcohol complicates it even more. Has your husband sought out any treatment for his alcoholism? Has he admitted that he has a problem? Yes, we will pray for your strength and perseverance, and reach out to us if you need to via email. [email protected] May God bless and protect you!