For the past year I have witnessed two of my friends’ divorce (one after only a year and the other after 11 years). Sadly, they are also one of the few of my high-school and university friends that have even chosen to take the noble path of commitment and to wed (most choose to shack up). I also worked on a jobsite where a couple deliberately did not want to marry because they believed “marriage ruins everything”.
This past week I also witnessed (via Facebook) the engagement of one of my divorced friend’s wife (yes, she is still his wife in the eyes of God and the Church) and the marriage of a divorced actress, Meghan Markle, making her wedding vows to Prince Harry. I couldn’t help of think that this engagement and marriage are a sham. It is a sham since it makes light of the indissolubility of marriage. The words “I promise to be faithful to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love you and to honor you all the days of my life.” seem to mean nothing if a better suitor comes along or the “happiness” has left the marriage or some other need is not met.
We are so caught up in personal happiness, saturated with images of young happy couples, bombarded with messages that “marriage ruins everything”, pornography and self-gratification, that we don’t see marriage as a necessity anymore (if you don’t believe me read this), OR if we do, then we only remain in it so long as it serves our needs.
If you go into marriage for happiness then you are marrying yourself. Personal happiness is self-serving not self-giving. Happiness is the fruit of a good marriage (although every good marriage has its ups and downs).You enter into marriage for love. Love is not a feeling. Feelings come and go but love never ends. Love is a choice. Love is willing the good of the other for the sake of the other. Love is self-giving.
Another thing is that when you enter in a marriage it is not 50/50. It is 100%. It is 100% since no matter what your spouse brings or offers to the marriage that moment, day or year you give it your all. You give it your all because marriage is a sacrament. You entered into a contractual relationship (yes it is contractual and not covenantal, because each spouse has rights and obligations within the marriage that need to be met) before God, His Minister and Church. Marriage is a vocation and one that is your path to Heaven. To leave your marriage, your vocation, is putting your salvation and your spouse’s salvation in jeopardy.
In the messages of Fatima, Our Lady told the children that the final battle will be against the family.
As husbands and fathers, we are the head of our family and yet what are we doing? Satan is waging war and he is in your house. Don’t believe me? What images and messages are you allowing in your home through the TV and books? What demons are you inviting every time you view pornography? Why are you withholding yourself from your wife and abusing God’s gift by using contraception? Do you give a second look to women passing by? Are you too consumed with work and the world that you don’t have time for your wife and kids? Are you allowing your wife to be consumed by the world?
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it: That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish. So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself.” (Ephesians 5:25-28) This is what we husbands are called to do – to lay down our lives for our wives just a Christ did for His Church.
Men, remember the bride that you married and gave yourself to on your wedding day. Remember the vows you made and the promises you gave at the altar.
Every day, no matter how you feel about your spouse you choose to love them over any other.
Is she worth fighting for? Is she worth dying for?
Yes, yes she is. Now pick up your armour (Ephesians 6:10-18) and fight for her.
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