Marriage is between Man, Woman and…a Third Person

Posted by : Blyton Pinto | Marriage

From times immemorial, marriage has been exclusively between 2 individuals. But this is flawed and probably the reason why more than half of marriages end in divorce. Bring in a third person to enrich your marriage and make it last forever

Marriage between three individuals? You may be scandalized or maybe even not. The definition of marriage in some countries and societies has changed to include more than 2 persons as spouses in the marriage. To support this, I emphasize that you definitely need a third person in a marriage. However, the third person I am talking about is no human being; but God – who created Adam and Eve in His own image and likeness.

For Catholics, marriage is not a mere social or civil relationship but something much deeper; a Sacrament – which is an outward or visible sign of an inward or invisible presence of God and His grace. It is an invitation from God to a married life – a vocation. Hence a marriage is primarily a spiritual relationship between a man and a woman and then a social or civil one.  

Why is a marriage a spiritual relationship?

Genesis 2:18 – “Yahweh God said, ‘It is not right that the man should be alone. I shall make him a helper’.

Genesis 2:22 – “Yahweh God fashioned the rib he had taken from the man, into a woman, and brought her to the man”

Genesis 1:27 – “Male and female He created them. God blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it’.

Genesis 2:23 – “And the man said, ‘This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh! She is to be called Woman’”.

Genesis 2:24 – “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and they become one flesh”.

I want to make it very clear that the above readings are not suggesting that every man or woman must get married. There are other invitations from God, like Singles For Christ, Priests, Nuns etc.

1 Corinthians 7:7 – “But everyone has his own gift from God, one this kind (marriage) and the next something different”

For a non-single life, it’s very clear that from the beginning God wanted a special kind of relationship between man and woman. A relationship so important that God explicitly blessed the union. If a marriage is between a man and a woman and if the couple welcomes God into their relationship and allows Him to stay, then that marriage is aligned to God’s plan, explained in Genesis above.

What else is God’s plan for marriage?

Mark 10:9 – “So then, what God has united, human beings must not divide”

God wants a marriage to last forever until death separates the couple. The marriage vows in a Catholic wedding are so reflective of this plan of God. In every situation, good or bad times, health or sickness, wealth or poverty, the couple stick together. This perspective of marriage is so different from today’s popular culture.  

God even gives tips to make a marriage last. Again, these tips are very different from what secular or popular culture has to offer.

Ephesians 5:21 – “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subject to their husbands………Husbands should love their wives; just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed Himself for her”

Ephesians 5:28 – “Husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies; for a man to love his wife is for him to love himself”

Ephesians 5:33 – “Each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself; and let every wife respect her husband”

The love that Christ is speaking about is clearly explained in 1 Corinthians 13:1 – 7. Not the love that popular or secular culture teaches.

God has spoken so much about marriage, I doubt He would want to be left out in such a relationship. That’s why as Christians we believe that God is such an integral part of marriage, He is almost like the third person.  

What are your thoughts on marriage? How do you envisage a marriage with God in it could be different from one without God?

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