The ABC’s of Catholic Doctrine by Lianne Tiu

Marriage, like diamond, is forever.

Most videographers capture the most important part of the wedding rite when the bride and groom express their consent in church, “…for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”

As years go by, the “happily ever after” seems to exist only in fairy tales, but not in real life. We realize that loving someone for one’s entire life can actually be difficult. These difficulties, which come in all shapes and sizes, may be an aspect of the other’s personality that gradually emerged when the knot is tied, differences in beliefs, priorities, and value systems, different ways of dealing with conflict, changes in mind and body as we age, etc.

Today, there is prevalence of marital infidelity and extra-marital affairs, of marriages ending in separation or divorce (especially in the Western world). The blame is not entirely with the couple, however, but with the narcissistic society that promotes the violation of marital vows, which is no longer pleasurable or easy to fulfill. The media and a “Me” generation contribute to a kind of mind-set, which seeks a life that is free from pain, discomfort, boredom, or unhappiness. Short-term affairs or extra-marital affairs become normal; while divorce becomes acceptable, and even commendable.

It’s about time we lovingly remind people of the word “commitment” – that we honor a marriage vow for life. In the present age, people are getting used to trendier terms, like “freedom,” ”choice,” and “having it our way.” Commitment, however, is to stay married because we vowed we would. It requires self-giving to continue when we don’t always “feel like it.” It entails patience to bear with each other’s faults until death. It needs loyalty to be faithful as long as we live. It requires humility and forgiveness to continue when there are hurt and anger. And most of all, commitment needs help from God, the author of marriage, to continue being one in flesh through prayers and the sacraments.

Our family, which we claim we truly love, is worth the struggle in spite of the obstacles and differences. Our children and grandchildren may gather some fortune and fame from us, but they will definitely inherit an immeasurable trust through our examples of faithfulness and commitment.

Pop star Rihanna sings about shining bright like a diamond. Marriage is like this precious diamond, which comes the Greek word adámas meaning “unbreakable”. It is a beautiful partnership; it is a lifetime commitment.

(Reference: “Raising Catholic Children” by Mary Ann Kuharski; “Marriage is Love Forever” by James Socias; Catechism of the Catholic Church; Wikipedia)