"Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” Mk 10:9
It is hard to overstate the importance of marriage in our church. A strong, loving marriage is not only a sign of God's enduring love for us, it is the best and most natural ground of family life. It is from good Christian marriages that we learn the virtues of tolerance, tenderness and forgiveness as well as love and fidelity, and while many marriages fail, the struggle that so many Christian married couples make to endure difficult times and work together for the good of their family sustains us during our own times of weakness and confusion in faith.
The gospel insists God has always intended that marriage be permanent and that divorce should be considered only when every effort at reconciliation fails. While we must be wary of urging or forcing people to remain in abusive situations, the importance of marriage in the church is clear. There is no richer sign or natural lens with which to view and understand Christ's love for the church than the love of a married couple. Because both the bible and the church teach that God cannot stop loving us, they remind married couples that their commitment to permanence and exclusivity in their marriage helps us understand and appreciate God's love for us more deeply.
Today, pray for the married, especially those whose marriages are weak or struggling.
What do you think are the best ways to encourage the married to persevere and celebrate their vocation?