Thursday, March 12, 2009

and the roulette continues...

Tonight's page opens to: 1 Corinthians 7:1-16

Questions about Marriage
Now, to deal with the matters you wrote about. A man does well not to marry. But because there is so much immorality, every man should have his own wife, and every woman should have her own husband. A man should fulfill his duty as a husband, and a woman should fulfill her duty as a wife, and each should satisfy the other's needs. A wife is not the master of her own body, but her husband is; in the same way a husband is not the master of his own body, but his wife is. Do not deny yourselves to each other, unless you first agree to do so for a while in order to spend your time in prayer; but then resume normal marital relations. In this way you will be kept from giving in to Satan's temptation because of your lack of self-control.
I tell you this not as an order, but simply as a permission. Actually I would prefer that all of you were as I am; but each one has a special gift from God, one person this gift, another one that gift.
Now, to the unmarried and to the widows I say that it would be better for you to continue to live alone as I do. But if you cannot restrain your desires, go ahead and marry - it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
For married people I have a command which is not my own but the Lord's: a wife must not leave her husband; but if she does, she must remain single or else be reconciled to her husband; and a husband must not divorce his wife.
To the others I say (I, myself, not the Lord): if a Christian man has a wife who is an unbeliever and she agrees to go on living with him, he must not divorce her. And if a Christian woman is married to a man who is an unbeliever and he agrees to go on living with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made acceptable to God by being united to his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made acceptable to God by being united to her Christian husband. If this were not so, their children would be like pagan children; but as it is, they are acceptable to God. However, if the one who is not a believer wishes to leave the Christian partner, let it be so. In such cases the Christian partner, whether husband or wife, is free to act. God has called you to live in peace. How can you be sure, Christian wife, that you will not save your husband? Or how can you be sure, Christian husband, that you will not save your wife?
Wow, sounds like the Corinthians were having a tough time with the concept of marriage, perhaps particularly mixed-faith marriages. This reading is still very pertinent in our times. It seems that marriage is not taken as seriously now as it was in the past. Divorce seems to be the easy solution. How is it that we have come to a point where a lifetime commitment can be taken so lightly? (I like how St. Paul specifies what comes from him and what comes from God.)

The last paragraph of this reading brings me to an idea I have about "my marriage." (I'm pretty sure all girls think about what their marriage might be like one day... perhaps with the rare exception of those who know at an early age that they are being called to a religious vocation.) At any rate, I have always thought that the guy I marry must be Catholic... or be interested in RCIA. Why, you ask? welllll, I don't think that I could fully share my life with someone else who doesn't share in my values and beliefs. Don't get me wrong, there are many wonderful people in this world who share values and beliefs and they certainly aren't all Catholic. However, I feel that this is important in my life. When two people give their lives to eachother and become one, how does one choose which faith pathway to walk if they are not walking along the same pathway? Now, I'm certainly not saying that I would expect a potential marriage partner to be at the same point in their spiritual journey as each person's journey is very different. How can you share your lives if you don't share God?

Are you part of a mixed-faith marriage? Does it work for you? How do you make it work? (I know there is at least one person who reads this blog who might be able to share some insight... please do enlighten me!) Thanks!

While I have many more thoughts on this matter, perhaps I shall save them for another day and get some shut eye.


T with Honey said...

One of the joys of my mixed faith marriage is the constant challenge we offer each other. As software engineers Honey and I LOVE challenges! What I get out of it is a deeper understanding of my faith and what I believe. I don't blindly follow the Catholic doctrine. I can't because Honey won't let me simply go along with the motions. And there is no way he would let me 'brainwash' Princess with Catholic nonsense. I've had to justify and explain my faith and it has only helped bring me closer to God and deepen our relationship.

For Honey, well, he grew up in a place that did not accept religion. It took years for him to be comfortable walking into a church or place of worship. Yet he sees what comfort, joy and peace it brings to my life. He doesn't think that a person needs a particular religion to be good and faithful but he is seeing the value and coming to understand WHY people do choose to be active in a church and belong to any particular religion.

Ever person has a line in the sand, a breaking point on faith on what constitutes being too different. For us that was a belief in God the Creator. He still has questions as to the true nature of Jesus Christ (although - lucky for us - he does not deny that Jesus existed). Honey's just not sure if that person was/is the Savior and Son of God.

I just keep praying and teaching and hoping that God is using me to bring Honey closer to Him just as He has used Honey to bring make my relationship with God even stronger.

I hope this helps - and if you don't mind I think I'll post it on my blog. It's a fairly common question that I get asked and may help others.

Kath-o-lil said...

It's a fairly common question and the answer you give here T, is also "to the T" in my life and many others with whom I have discussed this subject.