Friday, September 23, 2011
Blog # 182 Christian Experience of Marriage
Blog # 182 Christian Experience of Marriage Much of what is contained in marriage manuals, even though the name Christian appears in the title, is the product of good common sense, good psycological theory, good philosophy and logic, and good human qualities that could and should be ours even though we were not precisely Christian. Analysis of ideal sex-role identities, techniques of love making, house keeping, home finance, child care, living together in old age, etc. are all part of the concern Christian couples have when they enter marriage. But these elements are also the cares and concerns of all couples, no matter what their religious identification might be. We believe that marriage is one of the seven Sacraments given to the Church by Jesus. The Sacramental system adds a whole new dimension to life, like poetry adds to words or art to color. The Sacraments in general bear out and manifest St. Paul's statement that "I live, no, not I, but Christ lives in me". Each of the Sacraments is a sign and realization of some particular aspect of our salvation in Jesus. In writing to the Ephesians ( Eph 5: 25) St. Paul compared the love of husband and wife to that of Christ for the People of God, the Church. A man and woman manifest through their love for one another the love of Christ for us, which in turn manifests the love of God our Father for all creation. Based upon this truth, the eternal love of God in Jesus for the Church, rather than on any other reason or value, we continue to uphold the stability of marriage and promote and protect the trust and generosity it takes to make such a love possible betwen husbnd and wife. Until recently the following thoughts were used as an introduction to the Roman Catholic Marriage Rite. 'My dear friends, you are about to enter into a union which is most sacred and most serious. It is most sacred because it was established by God Himself, and most serious because it will bind you together for life in a relationship so close and intimate that it will profoundly influence your entire future. And so you begin your married life by the voluntary and complete surrended of your individual lives in the interest of that deeper and wider life you are to have in common...whatever sacrifices you may hereafter be required to make to preserve that mutual life, always make them generously...Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome. Only love can make it easy, and perfect love can make it a joy." ------------- -------------- ----------- Here is a 'home-made' definition of fidelity in marriage the students came up with in a course I was teaching years ago: "I will try to keep myself as attractive to you as when you first discovered me". Wonderful!