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When you hear of a “destination wedding,” what thoughts come to mind? Do you think of a far-away exotic location with the bride and groom standing barefoot on the beach professing their love for each other? Have you ever thought about the ultimate destination – the Wedding Feast of the Lamb?

Heaven is our true destination. The task of every husband and wife is to help their spouse get there. While a wedding on the beach may be beautiful, the Sacrament of Matrimony provides the couple with an ocean of the grace necessary to live marriage according to God’s plan.

Marriage is not a human invention; it was instituted by God for the good of the couple. In addition to abundant grace, God has provided laws to guide and nurture the couple in their vocation as husband and wife.

Let it be repeated as an immutable and inviolable fundamental doctrine that matrimony was not instituted or restored by man but by God; not by man were the laws made to strengthen and confirm and elevate it but by God, the Author of nature, and by Christ Our Lord by Whom nature was redeemed, and hence these laws cannot be subject to any human decrees or to any contrary pact even of the spouses themselves. This is the doctrine of Holy Scripture; this is the constant tradition of the Universal Church; this the solemn definition of the sacred Council of Trent, which declares and establishes from the words of Holy Writ itself that God is the Author of the perpetual stability of the marriage bond, its unity and its firmness.[1]

True happiness lies in living in obedience to God’s commands. The breakdown of the family and the ills of society prove that disobedience to natural law concerning human sexuality only leads to broken individuals and despair.

For man cannot attain that true happiness for which he yearns with all the strength of his spirit, unless he keeps the laws which the Most High God has engraved in his very nature. These laws must be wisely and lovingly observed.[2]

The Father truly knows best. He is the creator of man, woman and the martial union. Satan, the enemy of marriage and the family, has convinced a majority of modern society that happiness lies in sexual freedom, multiple partners and every kind of deviant behavior that ignores the natural law engraved upon their hearts. Satan will do everything he can to convince couples to engage in sexual intercourse before marriage and not to engage in sexual intercourse after marriage.

These enemies of marriage go further, however, when they substitute for that true and solid love, which is the basis of conjugal happiness, a certain vague compatibility of temperament. This they call sympathy and assert that, since it is the only bond by which husband and wife are linked together, when it ceases the marriage is completely dissolved. What else is this than to build a house upon sand? — a house that in the words of Christ would forthwith be shaken and collapse, as soon as it was exposed to the waves of adversity ‘and the winds blew and they beat upon that house. And it fell: and great was the fall thereof.’ On the other hand, the house built upon a rock, that is to say on mutual conjugal chastity and strengthened by a deliberate and constant union of spirit, will not only never fall away but will never be shaken by adversity.[3]

God is to be honored in the martial relationship as its creator and provider of grace that equips husbands and wives with the means necessary to live out their vows. God’s laws concerning sexuality and marriage are to be obeyed not out of fear of retribution but out of a deep love for the Father and each other. True love will always act for the good of the other; false love only seeks to satisfy oneself and leads to destruction.

The Church, in its infinite wisdom inspired by the Holy Spirit, lovingly guides husbands and wives in their vocation of marriage. It behooves us to listen and follow the wisdom of the Church. Woe to those individuals that seek to twist what is holy and sacred in the eyes of God.

Finally, let the spouses themselves, made to the image of the living God and enjoying the authentic dignity of persons, be joined to one another in equal affection, harmony of mind and the work of mutual sanctification. Thus, following Christ who is the principle of life, by the sacrifices and joys of their vocation and through their faithful love, married people can become witnesses of the mystery of love which the Lord revealed to the world by His dying and His rising up to life again.[4]

Our ultimate destination is heaven. On this earth, husbands and wives are called to get each other to heaven. Their love for each other is to mirror the love of Christ for His Bride, the Church. May every married couple live out this vocation with holiness and joy, leading others to an intimate union with the Bridegroom, Christ.

[1] Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Casti Connubii, §5, December 31, 1930; http://onemoresoul.com/marriage-children/church-teaching/on-christian-marriage-casti-connubii-encyclical-letter-of-pope-pius-xi.html#more-154 (accessed August 20, 2016)

[2] Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae, §31, July 25, 1968; http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html (accessed August 20, 2016)

[3] Pius XI, Casti Connubii, §78

[4] Paul VI, Vatican II Council Gaudium et Spes, §52, December 7, 1965; http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_cons_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html (August 20, 2016)