Many people, for decades, have grown up thinking that marriage is an institution they can simply disregard when the going gets tough.
Over the years, children that have been subjected to divorce has grown to 50% and of those who have witness their own parents divorcing, almost 25% of them will see their parents second divorce. This was taken from a study back in 1983. (Furstenberg, F.F., Nord, C.W., Peterson, J.L., and Zill, N. (1983). “The Life Course of Children of Divorce.” American Sociological Review 48(5): 656-668.)
If this wasn’t bad enough 1 out of 10 children whose parents have divorced will see three or more subsequent parental marriage breakups according to a study taken by (Gallager, Maggie. The Abolition of Marriage: How We Destroy Lasting Love).
If parents are really concerned about their children and their well-being then divorce would not be a so called “option”. Several studies have taken place over the years and they have discovered that 50% of these children of divorce are more likely to develop health problems. Health problems include asthma, injury, headaches, and speech impediments. That’s the physical effects. The emotional effects include psychological problems, lower grades, and less pleasant to be around. It’s not worth it. Can you live with the fact that you will be the cause of more pain to your child or children? What we really need to do, in most cases, is get over ourselves. As a parent, possibly a victim of divorce yourself, recognize that and desire to do better for your children, your spouse, and yourself.
Where do you start? First, recognize that marriage is a sacrament. It is not a task that you accomplish. According to Saint Pius X, he defined marriage in his catechism in this order: “Marriage is a sacrament instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ that establishes a holy and indissoluble union between man and woman and gives them the grace to love each other in a holy way and to bring up their children in a Christian manner.” Second, recognize that most of the time pride gets in the way of taking care of your marriage. Pride is selfish, isn’t it? It’s all about me! How I’ve been wronged. How I’ve been victimized. How I don’t get treated the way I think I should be treated. Me, me, me, me!
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Let’s take a look at the life of St. Monica. She was given into marriage to a pagan husband named Patricius. Monica, looking at her difficulties ahead of her took to herself what she was accustomed in doing. She would ask for help and council from a Friend who never fails. Through her tears she would pray over and over again, “Thou in me, O Lord.” She laid all her troubles at the foot of Jesus, at the foot of the cross and she resolved to trust in Him, whatever the cost. In Saint Monica’s case she would have to put her ideals aside and be strong for both herself and her husband. She would have to strive to bring her husband’s soul out of darkness and into the light of truth. Her life and marriage was very difficult but in the end, through the grace of God and her trust in divine providence, she succeeded in saving her children, herself, and her husband. She never stopped praying or asking for divine council. By this act, we can learn to strip off our old selves, getting rid of that pride that we like to hold onto, and instead think of our spouses and our children. Think of the graces we will earn for our families.
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Once pride is subsided it opens up the doors for communication. Isn’t that what we all want? To be understood? To be understood we really need to understand our spouse’s needs first. It’s a work that is not always equal in its rewards. You can read about that in the life of Saint Monica. The point her is that you must succeed, at all costs, to save yourself, your spouse, and your children from the risk of social destruction but most importantly divine destruction and the possibility of damnation and never seeing the face of God.
To get a glimpse of how to make a marriage work, listen to Magnificat Radio on Magnificatmedia.com, July 30th between 6am – 8am and from 3pm – 5pm CST, USA. We interviewed a couple who has been successfully married for 56 years and they share with us some insights on how to make a marriage work.
The featured image is credited by Foter