In praise of marriage

Marriage at Cana

In today’s Gospel reading, the scene took place at a wedding feast at Cana, in Galilee with Jesus, his disciples and his mother, Mary.

Just like at my wedding 16 years ago where all of my friends drank all of the alcohol, the “wine ran short” at this wedding feast.  Times never change, do they?

Marriage at Cana
Marriage at Cana

The next passage in the scriptures is amusing because I can imagine a son arguing with his mother:

When the wine ran short,
the mother of Jesus said to him,
“They have no wine.”
And Jesus said to her,
“Woman, how does your concern affect me?
My hour has not yet come.”

Jesus agrees to assist and he turns water into wine:

Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee
and so revealed his glory,
and his disciples began to believe in him.

It is interesting to note that Jesus honors marriage with his first miracle.  Later in his public ministry (Matthew 19:1-12), he raises marriage to a sacrament.

“Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’
and said,
‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”

Here’s a list of facts in praise of marriage, presented in Session 3 – The 4 Leadership Roles of Men from  That Man Is You (Year 1):

    • Married couples are 60% more likely to be happy with their lives.
    • Married men earn 30% more than unmarried men.
    • Married couples have more frequent sex.
    • Marriage increases function of our immune systems.
    • Church-going spouses are 22% more likely to be sexually satisfied than non-church-going spouses.
    • Marries households earn 12.4% more than a single man/woman combined.
    • Married men live 10 years longer than unmarried men.
    • Married households have almost 4 times the net wealth of never married or divorced persons.

When I went through the most turbulent time in my 16 year marriage, I went on-line to find resources to help.  It took a lot of research to find resources that were in support of marriage.  The vast majority encourage divorce.  This is a sign of the times.

One that I found, used and now recommend is William F. Harley’s Marriage Builders –  His model for marriage and his instruction to couples so that they can will absolutely be happy works.  I can attest to its effectiveness.  He’s also a Christian so that helps! has prayers for marriage, a husband’s and a wife’s.  I encourage these prayers and I love the husband’s prayer that I pray almost every day.  I wanted to share the part of it that has changed me:

Mortify in me all violence of earthly passion,
all selfishness and inconsiderateness,
that I may love her as Christ loved His Church,
cherish and comfort her as my own body,
and have as great care for her happiness as for my own.

When I love my wife as the example given in the husband’s prayer, it has an amazing impact on our marriage and utterly multiples our feelings of love for one another.  I am also able to suffer gladly some of the ups and downs of marriage that come with a lifelong unity.

I pray that those of us called to the vocation of marriage will cherish it.  I pray for those who are going through a turbulent time in their marriages and encourage them to open their hearts to God first and then the ice around their hearts will melt away to rekindle their love of their spouses.

You might also like:

Celebrate the Mystery of the Immaculate Conception
Why we baptize
Drop everything and join me
Think about our mother

Today we remember Saint Raymond of Pennafort

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4 thoughts on “In praise of marriage

  1. Great post in this “Year of Marriage” in the church. I’m going to link this to some friends going through that turbulent time right now. God Bless!

  2. Married Saints and Blesseds is also a good read, especially for those who are living the results from the sign of the times–a married life without the good effects…so many Saints lived faithfully despite awful situations. I am a little concerned, I have to say, with those bullet points since people keep “moving on” in an attempt to feel the good effects that marriage can bring, but don’t worry, I know what the points were intending to do. Have you read Familiaris Consortio by JPII?

    1. LHW –

      I will check out Married Saints and Blesseds – I have run across married saints reading Saint of the Day. I find comfort in their examples because all marriages have challenging periods.

      Thanks for the feedback on the bullet points. I forgot to mention that the That Man is You program is geared toward married men. So these facts were in the context of “these are the reasons to 1) get married (hopefully once) and 2) stay married if you are or when you encounter difficulty.”

      I haven’t finished Familiaris Consortio. I took a detour on one of Matthew Kelly’s book and the Vatican’s web site background is truly difficult to read. If you have a reference to read Vatican documents without causing damage to my eyesight, please post.🙂

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