The Ultimate Blessing
There is no greater gift than love. Through Christ, the Father showed His love for us. Through the Holy Spirit, the Father sent love down to be with us always. In our lives as Christians, we are called to share this love with the special people in our lives. For a man and woman, this love is most greatly shared in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, or marriage.
When God brings that special someone into our lives, He is sharing with us one of the greatest joys of our lives. Through our spouses, we can feel the reality of God's love. As a spouse, we are called to love this person as He has loved us. To receive this love, we must be willing to give it all. If we do, there is nothing greater.
As men and women, we each have our role within the relationship. The Bible has clearly defined roles for both men and women. It may be old-fashioned, but the Bible is just as true today as it was 2000 years ago. Unfortunately, society today has changed some of these standards. For some reason, we have decided that these rules no longer apply. We follow the portions of the Bible that fit our lifestyle, but we choose to ignore the portions that do not. This is by no means acceptable. It is time to get back to our roots. The Bible is filled with more than traditions; it is filled with commandments.
Loving Like Christ
In the New Testament, the Church is referred to as the bride of Christ. Ephesians 5 gives us a model for how we should live out marriage. Many women get upset when they read that they should be subordinate to their husbands. But, I think the real challenge is for men. The reality is that men need to lead as Christ leads His Church. Men, it is time to step up and take the lead. We need to start taking a more active role in our families. We must follow the example Christ has given us. When we do lead, our decisions should not be based on what is best for us, but what is best for our family. Christ sacrificed everything for His bride. What have you sacrificed lately?
Purity Before Marriage
In today's culture, purity is a distant memory. Fifty years ago, "living in sin" was a disgrace to yourself and to your family. Today, it is not just accepted; it is expected. Fifty years ago, someone who had sex before marriage was looked at with disgust. Today, we teach our children in grade school how to do it safely. Times have changed, but God's laws haven't. I admit that purity has been a personal struggle of mine. Just recently, I had to make some very difficult choices. However, though I may have sinned, it was not too late. It's never too late. Sex is a joy that should be reserved for marriage. By ignoring this, we are robbing the one we love of a precious gift. Take the challenge. Sex before marriage is not about love; it's about you! If you truly love someone, you would do anything for them, including saving yourself for marriage. Remember, it's never too late.
It's Not an Easy Road
Few things in life are easy, including marriage. Every morning, when we wake up, we choose to get out of bed. We choose to go to work. We choose to be followers of Christ. From the smallest decision to the largest, life is full of choices. In the same way, we choose to love our spouses. The passion of being a newlywed can sometimes fade. Life brings us a number of challenges. When things get tough, the choice to love our spouse gets harder to make. It is in these times that our love is truly tested.
One of the principal ways of making metal stronger is to heat it on a fire. When it cools, it is stronger than it was before. The same is true for marriage. At times, we may be burned by the flames, but, in the end, the flames will only make the love stronger. It may be difficult to endure the flames, but having a Christ-centered marriage will pull you through. Trust in Him. As it has been said, "for God all things are possible." -Matthew 19:26 NAB.