Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, “It takes three to make love, not two: you, your spouse, and God.” Apart from the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, nothing speaks better of God’s incarnate love than marriage. God designed it this way. We place great value on love and rightly so. What we fail to realize, however, is that love, its very presence and place in our lives, is not simply part of the human package deal. Love comes from God. It is one of God’s greatest gifts to human beings. When we begin to realize that our very ability to love is sacred, it changes up how we see the essence of life, and purpose and sanctity of marriage.
God is love. It stands to reason then that if we follow the path of unconditional, self-emptying love we will then stumble upon God. It is precisely this intimate wedding of God with love that gives such eloquence and honor to the love between husband and wife. As a living sign of Christ’s love for the Church and for humanity, husbands and wives speak volumes of God’s unconditional incarnate love for all of his children! The Divine power that brings unity and life to marriage is so strong that once joined, it really cannot be separated.
Admittedly, marriage covenants can be extremely difficult to negotiate and, at times, very painful to experience. God’s perfect divinity always meets our broken and imperfect humanity. God is okay with this setup as he created it this way. Our loving is never as unconditional as God’s and often tainted by our own imperfections, needs, memories, hurts, sinfulness, and weakness. All of this baggage negatively impacts even the most well-intentioned marriages, causing them to be hurtful and empty. We are love works in progress. God can succeed in perfecting our love only if we keep our eyes fixed on him as the source of that love. That’s why marriage is always about three and not just two.
The Divine intimacy at the heart of marriage is what can make them celebrations of great union and happiness. Couples who are still madly in love with each other after many years, still looking at each other with that timeless twinkle in their eyes, best tell the story of God’s oneness with humanity. Honor, celebrate, and support those who have accepted a vocation to marriage. Living in a world that easily pulls relationships apart, may they find hope and inspiration from their faith companions who are on the same journey!
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