Weddings and Marriages

Many a man has destroyed his life (not to mention the life of his girlfriend) by falling victim to the heat of the moment and asking the fateful question, “Will you marry me?”  The girl, whose love is often also at a crucially vulnerable stage, is then under the pressure to either refuse the offer of a man she doesn’t want to lose, or to give in and say yes, no matter what vague and hardly understood misgivings she may be feeling.  Their lives then change overnight, and their casual dating suddenly becomes serious as they commit their whole lives to each other and officially become a “couple.”

The whirlwind of romance now takes over completely, as they make their announcements and begin preparing for their wedding.  All rational thoughts of the suitability of their future spouse are now thrown to the wind, as arrangements for the ceremony, the reception, the guest list, and a hundred other details overwhelm the soon-to-be bride and groom.  It rapidly becomes a very stressful time, for them and their families, and as the wedding day approaches, the dizzying frenzy of logistics spoils what should be a simple and beautiful occasion.

People have the impression that once a stressful event is over, they can resume their lovely lives and relax in front of the fire with a glass of scotch in one hand and a pipe in the other.  Newly married couples are no less delusional than the rest of us.  The fact is, the whirling stress leaves us all nervous wrecks.  It takes time to adjust back to the peace of a daily routine, and in the meantime, our frazzled nerves turns us into bad-tempered and miserable monsters.  When we add the transition to a completely different lifestyle into the mix, then it should come as no surprise that the newly married couple might feel shocked at how different marriage is to what they expected.

Here is the ultimate test of their love.  If their love is genuine and sincere, they will overcome their differences, learn to adapt to each other’s idiosyncrasies, and tolerate one another’s imperfections.  They will learn to love with that supernatural love that St. Paul describes, that love that “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”  They will live up to their marriage vows, and that love will endure “for better, for worse.”

If their love was simply the delusion of youth, a burst of romantic sentimentality, or worse yet, the product of lustful temptation, their marriage will be in severe peril.  Their entire lives may be ruined unless they adapt and pray God for the strength to swallow the difficulties and struggles that will inevitably befall them, both externally and in the depths of their souls.  Sometimes, before you pop the question (or answer it), it’s better not to throw caution to the wind.  Take a little time, take counsel, be sure!  It’s not just a wedding, it’s a marriage!

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