Marriage is a great gift from God. This gift corresponds to the way he has made us, male and female, and involves us deeply in his work of creation and salvation. When a baptized man and woman tie the knot, they are committing to participate in a particular way in the life, sacrifice, resurrection, mission, and joy of Jesus.
Marriage is sacramental. It calls for a self-gift of the whole person, body and soul. Christian marriage is a sacrament in the broad sense that the total self-gift of marriage makes tangible in our physical world the love and saving mission of Jesus. It is also one of the seven sacraments, along with Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, Confession, and Ordination, which have been established by Christ to give the grace we need to share his divine life.
Unfortunately, many Catholic couples have accepted—often without realizing it—our society’s contrary idea of marriage as a cultural construct that each couple can and should reinterpret however they wish. Couples are encouraged by our consumerist society to change the institution of marriage to fit their preferences and pleasures rather than letting the challenge of marriage change them with the help of God’s grace. Marriage is designed by God to help us grow up, to mature in our Christian faith, and to enter into a life focused on the good of others. On the other hand, our society tells couples, that they don’t need God in marriage—in fact, that they don’t need either God or marriage! The message is that they don’t need to grow up at all; they can remain focused on themselves and still form a workable and stable partnership, and even raise kids if they so choose.
With the help of many others, I have written a new book, Your Love Story, which seeks to reach couples who have been influenced by our media-saturated culture. Through the power of God’s truth, presented in love, the key themes from the book can touch many hearts:
- God’s plan for marriage is beautiful—and beauty can awaken spiritual desires we didn’t even know we had.
- Society’s view of marriage is selfish—and is obviously not working very well.
- God’s plan is challenging, but he provides the grace necessary for us to rise to the challenge. God wants us to become the people he intends us to be. This is true freedom, and the way to authentic happiness.
- When God is honored by a married couple, the bond of marriage is rooted in his faithfulness and is therefore steadfast. This, in turn, creates the unity within diversity that is necessary to raise children in a community of love.
- Christian marriage involves husband and wife in Christ’s work of salvation, through prayer, sacrifice, and forgiveness, for themselves and for their spouse.
- Christian marriage and family life reflect to the whole world the unity and fruitful community that is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—one God in infinite love. Family is a school of love that prepares children to participate in the life of the Church and in the eternal life of heaven.
- The sacrament of marriage is a gift of immense transformative power, not only for the spouses but also for society, for the Church, and for the whole world. When a couple gets marriage right, they become apostles of God’s love.
To learn more, and to see how you can help get this book published and promoted, visit http://flowerfund.com/yourlovestory/.