18 June 2013

Thoughts on Marriage

This weekend, several pairs of our good friends will celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony. We are so happy for them, and excited that the number of Catholic married couples our age that we know will be doubling! As they've gotten close to the wedding date, though, it seems that more people have been discouraging than supporting these couples. I don't know if any of them will see this, but even if not, I want to get my thoughts in order in case I have a chance to say something to one of the naysayers.



Matt and I are so very happy for you, and we hope you will let us know if there is anything at all we can do to help you. I'm sure you already know this (or we wouldn't be here), but being married is pretty great... Our first two years have been so full of unexpected joys and opportunities to grow, and I can't wait to watch you experience it for yourselves. I know that you've been hearing a lot of "why don't you just wait another year" recently, a lot of "it would be better if..."  And I know that you have put many months of prayer and discernment into getting to where you are today, and believe that you're doing the right thing, but I know too how disheartening those voices can be, so I wanted to add my voice and tell you: They are wrong. 

Waiting until you finish school will not give you a better marriage. Waiting until you both have professional jobs will not give you a better marriage. Waiting until you can afford the down payment on a house, or until you have $X in the bank, or until you are settled in the city where you want to live permanently will not give you a better marriage. There is only one thing that will give you a better marriage, and that is doing what God is calling you to.

People look at the painfully high divorce rate in our country, and worry about young couples rushing into marriage unprepared. They think they are being helpful by urging young couples to wait until they are older and more financially stable to marry. I know--we received many of the same comments you are getting during our engagement. The company Matt worked for folded a week after he proposed, and many people felt very strongly that he should go back to school for two years to get his Master's before marrying. Would it have hurt us to wait two more years? You've probably heard variations on this question yourselves, but I don't think that it is the right question to be asking. Was waiting two more years what God was asking of us? No, I don't believe that it was, and I trust that it's not what He is asking of you.

For some couples, I'm sure that waiting is the right response to God's plan for them, but that doesn't make it the right response for everyone. The Church needs more couples like you, solidly Catholic, well-prepared, willing to trust God and show others by your example that getting married young can be a part of God's plan. Will it be easy? Maybe, maybe not. God certainly could make it easy for you, but He may have something more challenging in mind to give you the opportunity to grow together through shared trials. Would waiting make marriage easier? Maybe, maybe not. No one can know what will happen over the next few years. But even if it was guaranteed to make marriage easier, simply choosing the easiest option is not a mark of true discernment; frequently, what God asks of us is not easy!

Listen to where God is calling you, and follow Him even when it's not easy. I said before that marriage is pretty great, but that definitely doesn't mean that the last two years have been a cake walk. It is worth it, though; I promise. Rely on God first, then each other, then the rest of us--even the naysayers do want what is best for you, although I know it doesn't always feel that way.

We are so happy for you, and so glad to be able to be here to support you as you begin your married life together! You have our prayers, and anything else we can do to help.

God bless you!

1 comment:

  1. Well said! I rarely hear anyone with that perspective, but I appreciate it! Sometimes I buy into the mindset (...ok, about twice a month when I do a little freakout when I pay the bills). But in my heart I know we were meant to be together, to be a family NOW. God had a plan to make him a father when He did. To give each other our all through the next few years of challenges as we complete school and find jobs etc., is absolutely the best thing for us. Thanks!