Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Divorce rate alarming
I was impressed by the sermon delivered by the priest officiating a marriage service in one of the churches recently. His sermon was simple, clear and very practical and remains vividly in my mind. Despite having been married for over 25 years, I did not think the way the priest put it about marriage.
The pastor said “The fact that Christ has sanctioned your marriage means that he has chosen the spouse for you. This means that this partner is the best for you and you can never find a better one in the world however hard you try to look for one”.
Turning to the bridegroom he reiterated “This woman is the best wife for you as she is chosen by Christ himself. It will therefore be futile and even foolish of you to leave her for someone better in the course of your life as you will never find one”.
Similarly he then turned to the bride and gave similar assurances on her husband.
From my own experiences in married life, I can safely certify for sure the fact stated by the pastor that our spouse is God chosen and is the best for us. Our spouse is a special gift from Christ himself and we must trust that He knows best what to give us.If we do not have that faith in Christ then it would be meaningless to call ourselves His followers.
The trouble is today we seem to think we know better than Christ what is best for us. This is the cause of the many failures that we meet in our lives as we continue to make mistakes in making the many important decisions in life including the selection of our life partners.
The divorce rate is increasing at an alarming rate all over the world. It is distressing to note that, in Malaysia, there were 19,800 cases of divorce in 2004 and this continues to increase over the years. Even among Catholics it is on the rise. What is happening to our belief that marriages are made in heaven? Where have we gone wrong in upholding the sanctity of matrimony?
Today people get married for the wrong reasons not realizing it should be a life-long commitment through thick and thin. Many choose to have a church wedding not because of its spiritual significance but it is fashionable to do so. They forget as marriage is solemnized by a priest in the presence of Christ, it implies that it is sanctioned by none other than Christ himself. It should also mean that Christ has specially chosen the particular spouse for us who should be the best for us. It will therefore be futile and even foolish of us to leave him/her for someone “better” in the course of our life. If we really have the faith in Christ, as we profess we do, then we must accept this fact and abide by it. As sanctioned by God Himself, it is therefore sacred and its sanctity must always be safeguarded at all costs.
If only the couples, who took their matrimonial wows in the presence of Christ, understood that they were chosen for each other by God himself and that they are the best for each other, they would never have considered divorce as the solution to whatever problems that they encounter.
Very often we see only the defects in our spouse. In fact it is much easier to see the bad than the good in them. It is easy for us to say "Lord, I love you", and we do say that many times a day, but very difficult to say the same to our spouses even once. If only we realize that Christ reveals himself daily in our spouses, in their strength and more so in their weaknesses, then saying the phrase to our spouses will be become a joy.
Once when we are convinced that Christ would give us the best in everything, including our spouses, only then will we see the good in them and overlook their shortcomings. This would be the beginning of a lasting and unshakably strong relationship with them that will withstand the stress and strain which are common in the process of bringing up the family.
We preach so much about faith and trust in God and we often presume we have that faith in us at all times. It may be so when times are good but the real test of faith is at times when tragedy strikes and our lives are thrown into disarray.
That is the time we must recall our matrimonial wows we made to the person handpicked by God to be our partner in life, in the presence of His son, Jesus Christ, "I'll be true to you in good and bad times, in sickness and in health ….till death do us apart.
REFLECTION ON MARRIAGE
By Winson David
Why do you get married? Can you remember back to that time when your life was filled with
dreams, expectations and hopes for the future? What did you expect from marriage?
Marriage is an unconditional commitment into which a man and woman enter for life.
For us Catholics marriage is a Sacrament. It is a life long binding agreement to take care and love each other in times of good, in times of bad, in good health and in sickness. This is the “vow” that we take in the presence God on the day of our marriage but today it is very sad that not many keep their promises.
For many today marriage is a convenient bondage that they will stick together just to show others that they are married but they live a totally different life by themselves.
In marriage there is a lot of commitment and responsibilities. You have to compromise on a lot of things just to please and to show your love to your partner.
In marriage you cannot be the winner all the time, you must also be prepared to give in
at times. Most of us, if not all, take our spouses for granted because we think we are going to live a long time and there is always time to make up. But we forgot that we don’t have a contract with God that we will live for another 50 or 60 years time. We are not even sure that we will be alive tomorrow. So let us live one day at a time. You have to thank God for each day you are alive. We have to give all the love we have to the person whom we are living together now not wait another day that may never come.
Life is not a bed of roses, there will be times when we tend to argue and quarrel. Sometimes it is good to have an argument but try to keep the argument only to that particular topic and don’t bring up the past or old things that might hurt your spouse.
Try to keep your cool when your other partner is angry or in the mood to argue. If possible try not to say anything or argue back when your partner is angry. Just listen to his/her points.
Of course once in a while you have to say something to save the situation. At times reassurance with a loving hug is all that may be needed to cool the situation.
Always remember “Do to others what you want them do to you”. So always do and be good
to them. Treat them well as they are the most important person in your life.
We always hear the word “Love your neighbour as yourselves” .Who is your neighbour?
The person who is living next to you is your neighbour. In marriage your spouse is your
neighbour.If you cannot love him/her there is nobody else you can. Do you love him/her enough? Why do you want to hurt the other half of you?
Ask yourself this question:
What if I am going to die tomorrow…will you still be arguing with each other today?
Don’t you think you will do the best to you loved ones and spend your quality time
together. Always remember the good times that you had and the amount of sacrifice that
both of you have done and still doing for the betterment of the family.
Ask yourself another question:
Can I live without my spouse? Think about it and if you think you can’t live without him/her than why are fighting for small or petty things. Try to settle it amicably.
If your answer is yes,then leave him/alone, don’t disturb or scold them. Let them live
their own life happily without you disturbing them and you lead your life alone
Each and every married person is sacrificing themselves for the family. We can’t say
that we alone are the one who is sacrificing and not the other person. In other words
both spouses are playing an important role.
Don’t bring your office problems to your home. When you are back home, you must think
that you are the husband or wife to your spouse and father or mother to your child and not
an employee anymore. It is that simple. Your home must be filled with love and laughter.
Try to talk with a soft tone whenever you are talking to your spouse or children. Don’t raise
your voice or talk in a angry tone all the time. Appreciate and accept your partner for what they are and give all your love to them without expecting anything in return.
I always say “my wife is my everything”.She is my driving instructor who will tell me how to drive(navigate) even though she got no driving license.
She is a lecturer,as she is good in that even though the mistake that I make is a small one.
She is my lawyer who will tell me what to ask/talk to teachers or others but she dare not
ask/talk to them.
She is my doctor. Each time I cough or had flu she will tell me “oh you got a weak
chest and you must take antibiotic”.Of course she is my special nurse who knows what to do when I am sick, depressed or disturbed.
But she is indeed a fantastic cook who can cook wonderful dishes for all of me and my children. You will love it if you try it once. The list can go on and on as she is everything to me.
Today what I am is mainly because of her. That’s why I say she is “my everything”
Before I conclude, I just want to ask you one question. When was the last time that you hugged your husband/wife and say I love you? If the answer is “more than a day”, then you have some serious amends to make.
The writer is happily married for 25 years and has 2 children. He is a model husband and father. He is particularly known for his patience and calmness even under very stressful situations.