1 Corinthians 7:32-40

Most people view God and his ways in ruling as with an iron fist. But that is not how God is. Certain things are absolute, but others are not. Paul is giving advice here, as some people have asked. He seems to prefer people to dedicate themselves directly to God. Paul knows how being married can keep us from God, but that does not mean that the nature of marriage takes us away from God. The nature of marriage is supposed to bring us to believe in Him all the more.

Marriage can be like miracles. So many of us look at the miracle and see the wonder of God, but get caught up in the mere human element. We get fascinated by the power of God and all the hoopla and excitement of a miracle and forget the relationship that God offers us through the encounter of the miracle. So many young couples and their parents are so excited about the new journey together and want to give the perfect wedding. That is all fine, but it can take away from focusing on developing the relationship with each other and God. They become ill-prepared for marriage. They get caught up in the emotions of all the different traditional dances of the night, and forget the foundation of their relationship and the God who gave it to them. Like anything else, leave it to our humanity to take God out of anything.

But it does not have to be that way. I encourage couples to pray together often. Pray when you get up or go to bed. Say grace before meals and bless each other with holy water. All you have to do is put holy water on your finger or thumb and make the sign of the cross on each other’s forehead while saying, “God Bless you” -or- “I consecrate you to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate heart of Mary.” It is as simple as that. Everybody in the family can do this for each other. It is especially important for fathers to do this. I know many men are shy to do this, but it would go a long ways and our Heavenly Father listens to that prayer and grace comes to your family. It just might be a new tradition you can start with your family beginning this Father’s Day.

On Paul’s advice, he suggests they “get married in the Lord” (v39). This is where they get married in the Church, now that she is in the Church. In these very early times in the Church, most people were married before their conversion, and so were not married in the Church. Now that they are in the Church, they would assume to get married with the blessing of God. This is why it is a mortal sin for a Catholic not to get married in the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, most people do not understand this. They prefer the pretty beach over the presence of Jesus in the tabernacle. When we get married in the church building, we are in the presence of God Himself in the Eucharist, asking for God’s blessing on the marriage, and making our vows before Him. These are vows, not just promises. They are before God, who is the very one who is love.

With these vows comes a blessing. The couple enters into a covenant relationship with each other by God himself. The marriage is not something for selfishness or for the couple as a whole. It is blessed by God to be a means of grace to each other and the whole world. That is why we have wedding banns. It is a profession of love to each other, before God and the community. Then the vows become whole. By the very love a couple loves each other and now become a light to the world. Because the couple asks God for His blessing, He listens to that prayer and does indeed bless the marriage so that grace may flow from it, onto each other and their children, building up a domestic church that glorifies His name and protects those who enter into such a sacred task. What a different view of marriage than what the world has to offer. Now that you know, how great your marriage could be!