Marriage Rules, Secularism Drools
Many people, perhaps a good segment of your friends and peers, have a negative view of marriage. Some believe it’s modern slavery, others see it as a roadblock to fulfilling their dreams, and a few even find the idea of having a single sexual partner for life impossible, or at the very least undesirable. Your experience of marriage is shaped by your attitude towards the Sacrament, not the petty opinion of someone else.
Compared with my peers, I got married relatively young. For me, it wasn’t as much a matter of age as it was finding Alison. Despite my vast travels as a child in a military family, I had not found an equal before her. It’s simply an unfortunate reality that my equal is a Yankee, but alas, none of us are perfect.
Many of my peers have been actively avoiding marriage. They prefer idle pursuits and attempt self-actualization through completion of a subjective “bucket list.” There’s nothing wrong with having a bucket list, it just needs to be prioritized properly in your life. I think that there’s something wrong with intentionally being closed to marriage. I think that there’s something wrong with creating a list of criteria that must be met before you're ok with getting married.
It all feels so pessimistic. I prefer a more optimistic view of marriage.
Marriage offers something that’s hard to achieve… true freedom. We tend to think that freedom means being able to do whatever we want. That would make us wrong. True freedom is being able to do what we ought to do. For those of us who are called to the vocation of marriage, the sacrament allows us the true freedom to be completely happy and completely fulfilled. In the same way, Holy Orders offers true freedom to those called to the ordained priesthood.
When you’re living your vocation, when you’re doing your best to love and serve your wife, life becomes more enjoyable. It feeds off of itself. So when you have a great day because you were a great husband, you just want more. The more deeply you love and the more you serve, the deeper your marriage becomes. As a result, you both experience a higher quality marriage.
Marriage can offer what so few personal pursuits can… the chance to be the person you were made to be.