Weddings are curious events these days. It’s as if the bride and groom feel they have to entertain their guests. It’s not enough to have a nice meal, conversation, some dancing if you’re so inclined. Nowadays, the bride and groom hire entertainment. The last few weddings my husband and I attended included burlesque dancers, orchestras and celebrity impersonators. And what’s with all the dry ice? It’s de rigueur to cover the dance floor in it. The videographer and photographer were determined to capture every single detail of every single moment, including guests chewing their food. I guess it’s important to record how well I liked my roast beef.
Since the bride isn’t Catholic but the groom is a baptized Catholic, there was no wedding Mass, just the ceremony and blessing. The groom isn’t a practicing Catholic so it didn’t really matter to him. I think the church wedding was just for tradition.
I know that the bride and the groom spent a lot of time planning their wedding reception. Since they were already living together, they grudgingly attended the required marriage preparation course in our Archdiocese. They didn’t feel they needed it.
These newlyweds aren’t unlike most couples getting married these days – long on plans for the big day and not enough thought on the happily ever after. They mistakenly think they’ve got that part covered since they’re living together. Googling statistics about co-habiting couples before marriage show that they don’t decrease the chances of future divorce and may even increase the possibility. Many reasons exist for the failure of marriage in previously co-habiting couples: boredom and marrying for all the wrong reasons are just two of them.
But maybe the main factor in the divorce statistic is the absence of God in their marriage. I could be wrong, I suppose, but living together pre-supposes that the couple doesn’t believe in the sin of fornication which is what sex before marriage is and since they’re living together, it’s a pretty safe bet that they’re having pre-marital sex. So, if they don’t believe that, then they probably don’t believe in God as the third Person in their marriage, the Person who makes all things possible, the One who is Love, the Alpha and Omega Who teaches us about self-sacrificing, persevering love.
I don’t mean to sound pessimistic. I want nothing more for this young couple than enduring love and happiness in their marriage. I truly hope for it and where there’s life there’s hope so they at least have a fighting chance. However, I also know that in order to have that fighting chance, they have to invite God into their marriage, give Him permission to guide and shape their future together, give Him the most prominent place at their marriage banquet.
Will they do it? Like I said, where there’s life there’s hope. So, along with the shower gifts and the wedding present, I’m adding one more present, the most important one. My most valuable gift is a prayer that they will discover the goodness of the Lord; that they will invite Him into their lives; that they will realize that they and their marriage are nothing without Him; that they someday understand that He is the author of every second of every day of their marriage; that they put their faith in Someone bigger than themselves; and that they put their marriage in His loving hands.