Marriage is the most fundamental building block of society. If we lose marriage, we lose the family, and ultimately we lose the society in which we live. Marriage and the family are so vitally important – St. John Paul II said that the future of the Church depends upon it.
Today the value of marriage is under attack – both from within and from the culture. Our response must be to more deeply understand Biblical marriage, to protect it, defend it, and model it in our lives. On the most basic level, marriage is an intimate, exclusive, and indissoluble union of man and woman. It is formed at the call of the Creator, for the good of the spouses, and for the procreation and education of children.
Baptized marriage is a Sacrament, which signifies the union of Christ and the Church. Marriage is a sign to the world proclaiming that God loves us, He will not abandon us, and He wants to be with us forever. A critical vocation to further the Gospel, marriage is a means by which Christ gives grace to spouses. He enables them to love one another as He loves the Church, perfecting their love, and leading them closer to one another and closer to God.
CCC 1661 “The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life (cf Council of Trent: DS 1799).”
Only by abiding in God’s love can spouses lead one another to Heaven while experiencing the love and truth that God designed. This is not an easy calling, and there will many be challenges along the way. The enemy will send troubles, distractions, and temptations. There will be times when it seems that the feeling of love is gone, or that time has changed your spouse. Yet it is in these places that Christ meets us in our need as we strive to draw closer to Him and live out His sacrificial love for us. Because of His great love, we may rise from our darkest hours and grow even closer to Him and our spouse until we reach our ultimate goal – union with God in Heaven.
As you grow in your understanding of the calling of marriage, commit to praying for other married couples in your life. Work together to encourage one another to grow in Christ, to protect your marriages with the truth. Allow God to use your marriage to shine a light in our culture, instead of the world threatening your marriage.