Marriage… Worth Fighting For!

Christ is Risen!

Wedding RingsIn my role as a deacon, I often encounter married couples who are sturggling with their vocation as husband and wife. So as I reflected on Holy Week and Easter Sunday, my thoughts led to the New Covenant mediated by Our Lord on Good Friday.  You see, Jesus Christ loves us with an unselfish love that is both freely given and unconditional.  His love does not depend on us, it only depends on Him.  And that love is so great that Jesus sacrificed His very life through His suffering and death on the Cross so that we who He loves can be redeemed and justified and brought to new life in Him.

The covenant of marriage is an image of this New Covenant and the two spouses are called by the Lord to give to one another the same love He gave to us… a sacrificial love that is freely given and unconditional.  When husband and wife both give completely to one another in this way, they image the very Blessed Trinity and their covenant images the New Covenant.

Does your marriage reflect the love of the Trinity through the love you give to your beloved spouse?

Maybe your marriage is suffering in some way.  Maybe you have not loved your spouse with the love of Christ.

Maybe you have not had the good of the marriage or the good of your spouse as your focus.  Maybe your relationship has suffered and been damaged due to your selfishness and self-centeredness.

Maybe you believe that your marriage is not worth the headaches?  Maybe you just don’t see a way to heal the hurt and that you are all alone and that you have no one to go to.

To this last point, let me tell you, your marriage is worth fighting for.  Our culture and society reflect the notion thave “self” is all that matters, that the “things” of our experience are of value only by our judgments and not by their own right.  Thus we have become a people who are too quick to dispose of things and people as if they are of no consequence. But this is simply the wrong approach.  Seriously, do you know anyone who is truly happy, and I am not speaking fo temporary gratification, living such a life?

Jesus did not give up on us, don’t give up on one another.  You need to make sure that you are in a “state of grace”. Avail yourself of the sacraments, particularly Reconciliation and Holy Communion. And be sure to pray both alone and as a couple.  Seek sound counseling from Catholic marriage counselors. And talk to your pastor.

Of course, if you are in an abusive relationship, you have an obligation to protect yourself and to remove yourself from danger, especially if children are at risk, even while you seek healing.

So on this Easter Sunday, we pray for all married couples, that their marriages be holy… and in a particular way we pray for troubled marriages, that the love of Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, may heal and renew their love for one another so that their vocation as husband or wife may be a powerful witness of God’s saving love for the world.

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About the Author

Deacon Mike Bickerstaff Editor-In-Chief, ICL

Deacon Michael Bickerstaff is the Editor in chief and co-founder of the The Integrated Catholic Life.™ A Catholic Deacon of the Roman Rite for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Deacon Bickerstaff is assigned to St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church where he is the Director of Adult Education and Evangelization.

He is also the Founder and President of Virtue@Work, where he provides Executive and Personal Coaching, Mentoring and Organizational Consulting. Deacon Mike has 30+ years management consulting experience in senior executive leadership positions providing organizational planning and implementation services with a focus on human resource strategy and tax qualified retirement plan design, administration and compliance.

He is a co-founder of the successful annual Atlanta Catholic Business Conference; the Chaplain of the Atlanta Chapter of the Woodstock Theological Center’s Business Conference; and Chaplain of the St. Peter Chanel Faith at Work Business Association and co-founder and Chaplain of the Marriages Are Covenants Ministry, both of which serve as models for similar parish-based ministries.

He and his wife have two married children and three grandchildren.

NB: The views I express on this site are my own. I am not an official spokesman for either my parish or diocese.

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