So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Monday, July 6, 2015

Marriage is... . A single man witnesses to the beauty of marriage.

I am awestruck by the true, good and beautiful unions I have witnessed among my friends, friends who are exemplars of the married life.

These couples exemplify the profound and unchanging mystery of marriage which is
one woman and one man united in holy matrimony, a complementary bond between husband and wife with God at the heart of the bond, a couple united in body, mind and spirit for the raising of children to the glory of God.
I've learned from the example of my friends that
  • Marriage is a communion that is so much more than a partnership designed by the state or people trying to reinvent marriage to the point it resembles a lease agreement between a car dealer and his customer. The faithful couples I am privileged to know have a profound trust at the core of their shared identity. That trust they have for each other is rooted in their mutual trust in Jesus Christ, the Word in Whom and by Whom true marriage was designed. In their intimate communion of bodies and souls, these couples united in Christ are united spiritually, emotionally and physically. The Holy Spirit acts in and through their spiritual, emotional and physical communion to nourish their family's growth and each individual's growth in Christ.
  • Authentic marriage flowers in mutual self sacrificial love that places the good of the other and the good of one's children above one's own wants and needs. My friends do this well. I'm constantly amazed at how they resolve differences of opinion with grace and honesty that results in a true meeting of minds for the good of the family. Furthermore, their daily loving gestures toward each other are the true art of the communion of marriage. The small, almost unnoticeable acts of kindness and love, of self forgetfulness and willing the good of the other, nurture a beautiful joy between spouses. Bear in mind that their joy is not the giddy joy of mere pie-in-the-sky romantics. Their joy is the fine art of lifelong passion, of love that illuminates the love others share and that brings out the best in others. Their love is poetry, not some generic phrase printed on the inside cover of a commercially produced anniversary card. Mind you, the timing of the giving of such a card might qualify it as one of those small acts of love. In that instant, the shared love and gratitude of two spouses fuelled by the Holy Spirit raises even the most trite blurb to the level of masterpiece.
  • At the heart of my friend's marriages is daily prayer, shared and individual. Prayer is the absolutely necessary opportunity for people to dispose themselves and their families to God's grace, the grace necessary to sustain and fuel a vibrant communion of hearts and minds. Without prayer, the wellspring of perspective, patience, perseverance and gratitude is drained dry by life's many challenges. With God's grace, trials turn into blessings, and blessings become the windows through which God teases souls into an eternal embrace of light and love.

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