Not all people should marry. But those who are led to marry—if they establish their marriage on the cornerstone of Christ—are in for a most glorious adventure. Yet, even with faith, marriages still require effort (i.e. proper choices) to bloom.
Sadly, it is possible for a marriage to end, even when one of the members is unreservedly devoted to “making it work.” Still, when wife and husband focus their eyes heavenward . . . when they recognize their marriage is, in a sense, a figure of the Trinity, including God as well as themselves . . . it can weather any storm the world throws at it. That’s one consequence of possessing that earnest love which “covers a multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:8).
And, never doubt it, the world and the lord of this world, love few things more than destroying a marriage. All of that holy promise, crushed. The joy and peace that come from living in lifelong intimacy, devastated. The miracle of two becoming one, forfeited.
One of the things that often surprises young Christian converts as they enter the Church, is the longevity of the marriages there. In some congregations, the thirty-five years my wife and I have been married still qualify us as “newlyweds.”
In light of these thoughts on this Valentine’s Day, the following quotation from C.S. Lewis is extremely apropos.
The Christian idea of marriage is based on Christ’s words that a man and wife are to be regarded as a single organism . . . The male and female were made to be combined together in pairs, not simply on the sexual level, but totally combined. The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union (the sexual) from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union. The Christian attitude does not mean that there is anything wrong about sexual pleasure, any more than about the pleasure of eating. It means that you must not isolate that pleasure and try to get it by itself, any more than you ought to try to get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out.
As a consequence, Christianity teaches that marriage is for life.