Tonight's page opens to: 1 Corinthians 7:1-16
Questions about MarriageWow, 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.)
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?
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.