Thursday, August 28, 2008

Married for Life Part VIII

This is the concluding post of my series about marriage. I hope these posts have helped you in your relationships. If you have children, especially teenagers or young adults, you might want to have them read this series of posts to help them in their future marriage.

In one of the facts I mentioned in an earlier post, those who have a strong faith and are part of a church typically have a stronger marriage. As I tell the bride and groom at every wedding at which I officiate, that a marriage consists of three persons: the husband, the wife, and God. If any of these persons is missing, the marriage is incomplete.

There is an old saying, “The family that prays together stays together.” How can you stay mad at each other when you pray together every day? Give your spouse to God. Give your children to God. Give yourself to God. Give your marriage to God. When God is an important part of your life and your marriage, your relationship with each other will be enhanced.

Without God in the marriage and in your lives, it will be much more difficult to have a strong unconditional self-sacrificing love. This kind of love really comes from God, and his a reflection of God’s unconditional love for us.

It is God’s plan that men and women should get married, live together until death, be faithful to one another, and bring up godly children. Jesus quoted Genesis when he affirmed God’s plan:

“But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

We should also understand that not everybody is called into marriage, and the Apostle Paul made that very clear. But for those who are called to the married life, God has certain standards of behavior. I also want to mention that sometimes divorce is inevitable, particularly in situations of abandonment and abuse. Therefore, you shouldn’t feel guilty if you are forced out of a marriage because of circumstances beyond your control.

Unfortunately the Roman Catholic Church has made divorce the unforgivable sin, excluding divorced people from participating in the sacraments. Protestant churches, while differing somewhat on the subject, almost always welcome divorced people and allow them to receive communion. If you happen to be one of those rejected Catholics, please don’t give up but visit a Protestant church in your area. God wants his people in fellowship with one another, so don’t let your experience with the RC church sour you on church in general. Remember, God loves you and wants to have a close relationship with you. This relationship is facilitated, nurtured and developed within the local church.

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