When we are young, we dream of someday getting married. It is a goal on the list of life…college, career, marriage, home, children, retirement. We don’t contemplate the depth and meaning of marriage, we just assume it will be part of our journey.
As many know, the road can sometimes be rocky and although you are deeply in love, outside circumstances can wreak havoc on that love. Some people have a romantic notion that the “marriage” part of life should be true bliss…the rock that helps you survive all the other storms such as health issues, loss of work, depression, etc. And the truth is…it can be…if you understand what marriage is in the first place.
Marriage is the career of a lifetime; however, there is no degree program you can major in to help ensure your success. Imagine landing your first job as an accountant without even understanding the principals of accounting? You are being set up for failure.
There are many resources out there to help guide you on understanding the vocation of marriage. The trick is to start reading them now before you walk down the aisle. Nobody really thinks about picking up a book about saving your marriage before you are married, however, these books might give valuable insight and tools to steer clear of that path in the future. Don’t limit yourself to the various “Singles Guides” and “Dating Advice Books” available. Look deeper and gather the tools necessary to be a good husband or wife BEFORE you say “I do”.
With the divorce rate at an all time high, you may be seeing more attempts from the Catholic Church to provide resources to single, married and divorced Catholics. According to the Catholic News Agency, The Vatican is hosting a conference to “seek ways to communicate truth of marriage” from November 17th – 19th. According to CNA journalist Ann Schneible, one theme they will cover regarding couples is “the time it takes to understand their relationship, to discover how their similarities and otherness, and the qualities of their interaction leads both of them to a higher place”, and “how their differences are the source of some of their strongest happiness.” If you would like to learn more about the conference, read Ann’s article at The Catholic News Agency.
No matter if you are seeking out marriage for the first time or after an annulment, the more prepared you are the more successful you will be. Communication is the key.
If there are any books that have helped you on this journey, please post below.