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St. Dominic Adoring the Crucifixion, Fra Angelico, c. 1442

Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8

Where do you find your strength to live out your vocation to marriage? Do you look to your spouse to fulfill your every need physically, emotionally, sexually, spiritually? If you are looking to your spouse to fulfill your every need, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and failure in your marriage. We are sinful human beings that struggle with selfishness, mood swings, anger, exhaustion and brokenness. We are incapable of fulfilling our own needs let alone the needs of others. No, we need to look to the source of life and love to give us the grace to love with a perfect love.

We love, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

Christ needs to be the center of our life and our marriage. Christ is the model and source of love. In order to love your spouse, you need to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A Christ-centered marriage begins with a Christ-centered life.

Christ is the center of all Christian life. The bond with him takes precedence over all other bonds, familial or social (Cf. Lk 14:26; Mk 10:28-31).[1]

Who is driving the bus of your life? Are you in the driver’s seat with Jesus relegated to the back of the bus? Or have you given the controls to Jesus? Marriage works when Christ is the center of our life and our marriage.

God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love. (Cf. Gen 1:27; 1 Jn 4:8, 16).[2]

God is the creator of life and marriage. He knows what will ultimately make us happy. It is in submitting our lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ that we will be given the graces to live out our vocation to marriage, freely, totally, faithfully and fruitfully.

“The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws…God himself is the author of marriage.” (Gaudium et Spes, 48 § 1). The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator…”The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life” (Gaudium et Spes, 47 § 1).[3]

Marriage is under attack. Satan, knowing that he has been defeated by the blood of Christ, is seeking to destroy that which is nearest to God’s heart, the family. The Great Deceiver has convinced countless individuals that the Church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality is outdated.

The proponents of sexual freedom promise happiness and fulfillment. Is this the case? Jesus told us that prophets would be known by their fruits.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:15-20

The fruits of sexual freedom are evident. Divorce, cohabitation, single parent families, drug and alcohol abuse among minors, teenage sexual experimentation and abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, violence and lawlessness are rising exponentially. Broken parents and children are left in the wake of the destruction of the family.

“Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25

The only hope for marriages and families is to build our houses on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. Give your life to Christ and let His love flow through you to your spouse and children. He will never leave you or fail you. He will give you everything you need to have a happy, healthy, and holy family.

We are praying that God will bestow great graces on you and your family.

[1] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Edition (Washington, D.C.: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2000), 1618.

[2] Ibid., 1604.

[3] Ibid., 1603.