13 Years Of Marriage
Brandon and I just recently celebrated 13 years of marriage, Yea Baby! And we cant wait till the day we can celebrate 60 years, God willing we both live that long. As Wedding and LifeStyle Photographers + Filmmakers we obviously get to hangout with a lot of couples who have been married for 1 day and we journey with them for about a year leading up to that day.
Also over the past 12 years of business we have journeyed with our couples well past their wedding day. Our longest couple, The Ulbricks, is the first couple we ever officially documented with our business and they have been married 12 years and have 4 beautiful children. We have the honor of documenting their family and love story on a yearly basis. We have also had the honor of documenting anniversaries of couples who have been married for 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 years.
Praise be to God we have had lots of experience chatting with couples who’s marriages last and will last till death do part, because love is a choice.
With that in mind we would like to offer some guideposts for those who are called to the blessing and graces of married life. Please keep in mind it is SO easy for physical attractions to cloud good judgment. So knowing these before hand is a huge plus.
Questions to ask yourself when you meet the potential Mr. or Mrs. Right…
1. Is this person going to help me get to heaven? Does this person have my souls best interest in heart, AKA loving Jesus Christ? Are problems likely to arise because of religious differences? Obviously placing yourself in a relationship that is likely to become sinful is stupendously stupid.
2. Am I going to help this person save his/her soul (will I help them get to heaven)? The greatest way to love someone is to lead them towards Christ so they can spend eternity with God in heaven. “Since attaining salvation is no small accomplishment, and since the marriage relationship can easily become an obstacle on the path to salvation, each intended spouse ought to enter the married state with a firm commitment to be a help, not a hindrance to the married partner. This is what real love is all about.” -BR. JOHN BERCHMANS, M.I.C.M., TERT.
3. Do they want to have children? Is he or she willing to accept their duty as a parent?
4. Do I want to raise children with this person? Do they have good morals and is their mind in the right place to raise children? If I need help parenting and making the right moral choice is this someone I can count on to help make the correct choice?
5. “Is the woman willing to accept her duty in marriage as described by St. Paul? He counseled: “Let wives be subject to their husband…; as the church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things.” Eph.V:22-24. There is no room for modern woman’s liberation in a God-centered marriage.” – BR. JOHN BERCHMANS, M.I.C.M., TERT.
6. “Is the man willing to accept his duty to lead the family in the way that God intends? St. Paul also said: “Husband, love your wives as Christ also loved the Church.” Just as there is no room for the modern attitudes of women, there is no room for the equally repugnant attitudes of some men, some of whom let women rule them and some of whom look to wives as servant. A man must be prepared to be worthy of the woman who will subject herself to him in marriage.
Each partner in a truly God-centered marriage is always given graces to help in fulfilling the respective duties described by St. Paul. Marriages founded on the firm ground supplied by St. Paul will endure in happiness and please God in many ways.” – BR. JOHN BERCHMANS, M.I.C.M., TERT.
7. Am I ready to die to self for the other person? Am I ready to sacrifice for their good? Love can make sacrifice easy, and perfect love can make it a joy beyond compare.
8. Do we already have problems that we can’t to work out? Are we trying to change each other? Let us be honest, Marriage is no easy, it is har work. To enter into an indissoluble relationship, already having problems you can work out is obviously a dumb idea. Getting married is not going to make them magically disappear or get any better.
9. Am I rushing into marriage? Rushing into marriage can leave you with a lifetime of regret.
10. “After reflecting on all of the above considerations, there are numerous additional characteristics in a mate which may be assessed in making a choice. Too often, physical beauty is accorded an inordinate priority. It is not wrong to find oneself attracted to a pleasant looking individual. Nor is the attractiveness of wealth or social position evil in itself. But these enticements should remain secondary to the vitally important moral and spiritual values of an intended spouse.” – BR. JOHN BERCHMANS, M.I.C.M., TERT.
Remember physical beauty fades and financial stature can be gone in an instant.
“In summary, therefore, let us urge that marriage be based on love of God, love of children, and the joy of sacrifice. A marriage entered into wisely will likely speed a soul toward eternal happiness. And a marriage entered into haphazardly or selfishly will likely lead another into the fires of hell.” – BR. JOHN BERCHMANS, M.I.C.M., TERT.
An even more indept blog post on the above by BR. JOHN BERCHMANS, M.I.C.M., TERT. can be found at https://catholicism.org/catholic-marriage.html. I have quoted above the sections which are his exact words, however what was my own way of stating things I left unquoted as to not miss quote BR. JOHN BERCHMANS.