They Just Don’t Get It… Marriage
I used to wonder if it has always been like this. Has it always been so intense? Has it always been in such danger of being lost? Is it because it’s my turn in the front lines? Am I more aware of who wants to take it from us? Or has the trend of wanting what one can’t have made it fair game for those who don’t understand its purpose?
It is the beauty that God infuses into all things He creates. The stability and joy that come with perfection – because God does not do things halfway – are so desirable to the human spirit because He made us to long for Him. We are created in His image and likeness, so it is unavoidable. The peace that emanates from those who understand this becomes a much coveted attribute for those who don’t. And so they seek it but, alas, refuse to succumb to it. This insatiable longing with resistance is what brings us to the present battle over marriage, family and adoption.
God ordained marriage between one man and one woman. He commanded that we procreate, form families, numerous ones. Thus, the family is a reflection of the biggest mystery of our faith, the Holy Trinity. A family, as God detailed it must be, reflects love and joy because it reflects God and God is love. Sure there are struggles, sorrow and anger in marriage and family, but there are also endurance, trust, and peace of heart and mind. The sacrament of marriage creates a bond that far exceeds the pressures of this world. Guided by Our Lord, it overcomes all obstacles. It is enviable to the point that people who do not follow the teachings of the Church want it. They covet that stability and peace that a true marriage emanates.
However, it is a grace that does not come without hard work and commitment. That marriage that they desire is the result of conscious decisions, sacrifices, acts of obedience, complete surrender, immeasurable faith in God, trust in your spouse, painful humility and persistent selflessness. It is the result of dying to self and living for others, of loving so much that it brings you joy to forfeit your fair share for the benefit of those you love. In return, those you love, live and die for you. And there is peace. So to just want it is not enough. To claim rights to the name of the institution or sacrament will not bring them any of what it is they seek. To demand inclusion in a rite of passage does not guarantee or even offer the benefits that come to those that do it the way God intended. If He designed it and defined it, He gives the rewards for the effort and discipline put into it. Without God, marriage is just a civil union, a partnership that can be dissolved at any point by any qualified human being, a simple contract. A lifeless word. To reject the very source of that which they covet makes it impossible for them to attain it. And this is why they just don’t get it.
From marriage comes children, family, a clear reflection of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When a marriage begins under false premises (calling a marriage something that is not), the family does not stand a chance against the temptations of this world. It’s trapped like a fish in a barrel, waiting for the one earthly thing that one of its parties will treasure all the more. Children, whether naturally born into a family or adopted, deserve better. Adoption, a loving and selfless vocation, is reserved and should be reserved for legitimate marriages. In God’s design, every child should have a mother and a father, both living under one roof. That He permits families to survive with one parent is completely irrelevant. Permissive will as a result of sin does not redefine the original terms laid out for the success of a family. God made man and woman distinctively different on purpose. There is the complementarity needed in both genders to raise children with balance.
Men are natural providers, detached. They put themselves first because it is ingrained in them that if they are not well, they cannot provide for their family. They are rough, physically stronger. They look at the big picture and try to fix anything that they consider broken. All of this is important, especially for women who embrace their femininity. We are emotional, attached, sensible, pay attention to detail. We nurture every living thing in our path. We put ourselves last in order to embrace that servant’s heart God has so lovingly placed within us. We see things completely differently than men do – and it is good that we do. It is imperative that we do. In creating us so different and yet so complementary, He created the perfect balance for humanity. Again, He does not do things halfway. And that is why, when both men and women embrace and work hard at perfecting their gender specific roles, families thrive and children grow up content, satisfied, fulfilled. Those families create that sense of longing for normalcy within the people who just don’t get it.
The progression of courtship, marriage and child bearing and rearing is very simple, organized. God is a God of order. When done according to his specifications, it becomes one of those coveted and unattainable things for people who refuse to follow the natural order of things. The safeguards placed by God himself into the institutions of marriage and family are not present when a same sex couple tries to adopt children in order to feel complete and normal. Changing laws to meet needs of acceptance or affirmation will not fix or change anything. Civil laws are shaped by moral laws, not the other way around. Any attempts to reverse the natural order adds turmoil, restlessness, not peace. There are no guarantees in any union, be it a marriage or a civil agreement, that no one will sin. But, in a true marriage, a true family, the sacrament, the presence of God himself, multiplies the odds of resolution by way of forgiveness and charity. When there is nothing greater than self in a relationship, there is nothing but self keeping that relationship together . When God is right in the middle of it, we persevere and humble ourselves to do what is necessary to honor the promise we make before Him. And so, that peace, love and joy that radiate from a traditional family is impossible to attain by those who just don’t get it.
So, I am not sure if it has always been so. Is it just my turn, our turn, to defend the lines? Has it jumped to a whole new level? What I do know is that we must operate from the understanding that what the liberal moral relativists seek is that which only God can provide. We must be clear in communicating that because of their staunch rejection of God and His creation, they just don’t get it. Maybe then we will be better equipped to have the conversations that will need to be had in the coming months and years with regards to marriage, family and adoption. More importantly, we will be able to point out the difference between what their hearts long for and what they end up getting in its place.