Editorâ€™s Note: The Most Reverend Boyea, Bishop of Lansing, Michigan states inÂ Faithmag.com: â€œWe have a vocation crisis in America. This is not what you think. It is a vocation crisis in marriage. Many are no longer getting married â€“ and too many do not see their marriage as a sacrament, a means of grace for themselves and their families. Yet marriage and family are the natural heart of our society and the spiritual core of our church.â€
We continue our weeklong focus on vocations in honor of National Vocations Awareness Week, with an emphasis on marriage today. The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is a Christian vocation involving a call from God and a response from two people who promise to build, with the help of divine grace, a lifelong, intimate, and sacramental partnership of love and life.Â Todayâ€™s post comes from Mike and Judy Cipriano who run www.stay-married.org, a website dedicated to providing resources to help couples stay married. â€“ Lisa
A vocation means a calling by God. The vocation of marriage is a calling to the state of holy matrimony. God created the sacrament of marriage when he created Adam and Eve: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh”Â (Gen. 2:24).
God gave you this special person to be your partner, to vow until death do you part. There will be many physical and emotional changes during this lifetime, so be prepared.Â You are to promise to share your lifetime experiences together. You are to serve each other with a covenant love, which can lead to an agape love. Serve the church with your love, and if you have children, serve God by serving His creation.
Becoming one together takes work and prayer. It is good to make your decisions together. Trust one another, being kind, patient, faithful, and a loving companion. Pray together, forgiving, respecting, and honoring one another. You wonâ€™t always see eye-to-eye, and there will be disagreements. When the answer is nowhere to be found, look to sacred Scripture and our Lord.
There will be storms in everyoneâ€™s marriage, and these storms can make the marriage stronger when you go through them together. Do not put your focus on what your spouse needs to change, focus on what you need to change. Be completely transparent with one another; after all you are to become one. When God is present in your marriage these storms will be easier to survive.
If you love your spouse like God loves you, you will put your spouse first. No other person or thing should come before your spouse. Not your children, parents, siblingsâ€”not your work or business. Nothing but God should come before your spouse. A man is to love his wife like God loves his church, a women is to respect her husband. The devil loves to attack and break up marriages. It is his number one goal. He uses trickery, lies, illusions, and whatever he can put in your mind to achieve this. He makes you believe you married the wrong person. Donâ€™t fall for his trap. The devil knows God loves marriage and hates divorce. He accuses you to God, God to you, you to your spouse, and your spouse to you. This is why forgiveness has to be given daily, not just for the big offenses, but also the small ones. After all, itâ€™s the little foxes that spoil the vine.
Letâ€™s all fight for our marriages. We owe that to God and to our children. You will be greatly rewarded in this life and the next. God will bless your marriage and protect its sanctity. Whatever your marriage goes through, no matter how hard it gets, Stay Married.