“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” CIC, can. 1055 §
Marriage is about intimate communion of love and life. Spouses love each other til death and gives life through childbearing and rearing. I wonder, what if there’s no more love and you can no longer give life, either because of age or health issues, can you still call it marriage? I heard a lot of divorces even among those who have been married for more than 25 years. Many are perplexed as they watch their parents or grandparents break up after several years of marriage. How could they do that? The couple whom we admired so much for staying married for many years, a role model to newly weds, suddenly filling for a divorce. When divorce occurs during the first ten years of married life, most people would probably say that it was never meant to be. But if you have lived together for so many years, born and raised up children together, some even have their own families and grandchildren, it is more difficult to accept. Some might think that it’s the mid-life crisis or menopausal. Whatever the reason, it’s the reality of the world today. Society accepts it more and more. I once heard my friend said that she is unhappy with her husband, but she will stay married until their youngest turned 18, then she would divorce her husband. Her reason? No more small children to take care and they would understand better why they are divorcing when they come of age. Does it make it less painful and easier if you wait until the children have grown up? I don’t know! And I can’t judge anyone who has gone through a divorce. So if I ask some people today, that if love and life is gone in marriage, can you still call it marriage, most people would probably say no, it’s no longer marriage but just surviving. I know of some couples who stay married because of financial reasons. A divorce would cost them bankruptcy. And some couples stay because of fear; fear of the spouse (specially if the spouse is abusive and violent) or fear of being alone (if you have lived your whole married life depending only on your spouse). If you are unhappy with your married life, and there is no more love nor life, is it still worth saving?
My cellphone charger is gone missing since weekend! I can’t find it anywhere and I’ve looked everywhere. It is a nightmare! My cellphone has become an important part of my everyday life! And going through the day without it, is unthinkable. Looking on its battery icon slowly decreasing, makes me more and more anxious and relentless. It must be here somewhere. We had some guests last Saturday, and I hope that none of them took it by mistake. My son has the same type of cellphone, so I just go and borrow his. But that is only a temporal solution. I need to find the charger or buy a new one, once I get some extra money. Right now, I let my cellphone fully charged in the morning. I have to be careful not to use it much specially the internet or it will use all the battery. Late afternoon before I reach home from work, it will go flat dead. So I would hurry up to my son’s battery charger as soon as I reach home.
This whole experience of my cellphone made me think of marriage life. That’s why I asked, if love and life is no more, can you still call it marriage? I asked a good friend of mine; his answer is yes it is still called marriage. So I asked him, why? He replied back with a question, why not? Of course, I said, because there is no more love and they can no longer have children, therefore it is no longer marriage. Then he asked me, who told you that there is no more love? People have wrong definition and notions about love, that they would easily conclude that there is no more love. That made me really think and ponder about my own life and beliefs. I have been married for more than 25 years. There has been ups and downs; and there were times when there were more downs than ups. To be honest, it was during those trying times that I wanted to give up on everything. The only thing that kept me going and holding on, is my faith in God. And I believe that He is the one who has given me the grace to hope and to trust that everything has reason and purpose. Some things are just like that, whether we like it or not, accept it or not, they are what they are. Like my cellphone, with or without the battery, it is still a cellphone. But it needs the charger in order to function. So is marriage life; sometimes it’s full of love, romance and life, and sometimes it’s full of stress, routines, disagreements, etc….we need the charger to get back to the 100% fully charged life. God is the only source of love and life. Without Him, we cannot function and be what He designed and called us to be, or to reach our full capacity. Sacraments, prayer, dialogues, intimacy, forgiveness, acceptance, awareness….these are the means that links us to the source and tap the love of God into our marriage life.
“Lord, I pray for all married couples, for those who are doing well, may they grow ever more in love with you and with each other. And for those who are struggling in their marriage life, may they find healing, forgiveness and acceptance to each others weaknesses. May they find love and joy in You, in themselves and in each other. Lord, bless our marriage and always reminds us that it is You who called us in this sacrament in order to bring heaven on earth and Your will into fulfillment. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen!”