It may not be the case for everyone, but a lot of us got married in a religious ceremony. It may seem like tradition or trivial to most, but did it ever occur to you why marriages are done in the house of God, or why his representative on earth can be the facilitating official?
A marriage is a legal contract.
This is why it’s also valid to do it with a government representative (usually a Judge). But why, all around the world, are marriages considered a religious event? Why is a Diety important when two people vow their eternal love together to form a single family unit?
We will get to that.
Have you ever been to a Marriage encounter weekend? It’s a Catholic event, but you don’t have to be one to join. You don’t even have to believe in God.
Why are marriages a religious event?
Vowing to offer your life to someone until your last breath out of something as abstract as love is deeply spiritual. It is a promise that no mortal can quantify nor supervise with a measuring stick.
Different cultures arrived at the same conclusion that a pledge to give your most important possessions, that is your future, your body, and your soul is a kind of promise that you should make with your God. And Catholics are not the only religious group that believes marriages are sacred and spiritual.
Sure modern society has laws to manage marriages, but if you read those laws, you will find that most of those laws relate to the couples worldly assets and not their marriage itself. There are few exceptions, of course, but it’s mostly to clarify that some things within marriages are also affected by criminal law.
Example, beating anyone till the inch of their life is a penal offense. Marital laws just say that anyone includes the person you are legally married to.
So, after all that, why are marriages considered a religious event.
This is because your life and soul never belonged to you in the first place. You are just borrowing it from God, and offering something that isn’t yours require the permission of its true owner. It’s common sense.
My life is mine alone, it doesn’t belong to god or anyone else
Oh really, what exactly have you done to give yourself biological life? (Kudos to Marty McFly and John Conner) Did you contribute in any way to ensure that that the X chromosome and the Y chromosome that ended up as your genetic makeup?
Speaking of that, were you even given a choice to live on earth with the race and gender (not sexual orientation -that’s different) you have now? Did you earn the money on your own to feed yourself for the first five years of your life? Did you or Charles Darwin teach your infant self the molecules you need every five minutes to keep your cells alive?
Likewise, can your current adult self do whatever you want, anytime you want, without consequences? Have you transcended to live a life that does not require the needs of your physical body?
If you still believe everything you are and everything you have is because of you and you alone, and only you have the right to it, then you are an arrogant, narcissistic, SOB that shouldn’t be here, because you shouldn’t be married in the first place.
What is a marriage encounter weekend
Let’s begin with what it’s not –
- It’s not a retreat
- It’s not a seminar
- It’s not AA for couples
- It’s not counseling
Then, what it is?
It’s a weekend that religious vocations led by a Catholic Priest provide couples a quiet place to reflect on their lives together and reaffirm their promise to each other in the presence of God.
We believe that couples should continue dating each other until the end of their lives. Once in a while, they should also go somewhere private just to communicate.
It doesn’t happen all the time for everyone, sometimes they need a little push.
Marriage Encounter Weekend set the stage for a deep spiritual communication between couples.
Life’s unending demands on our time and energy take up most of our lives. Couples end up sacrificing their time together.
The encounter will give you the opportunity to talk, really talk. To go back to the time when you were just young and full of dreams just sitting in a grassy lawn with a lap pillow and simply communicating.
We can do that without the help of a priest
Good for you, but are you sure? It’s your opinion, but maybe your spouse thinks otherwise. But if you are on the level as a couple then congratulations. Just like marriage counseling and S&M sex, it’s not for everybody.
But there are couples who want it, need it, and require a practical and affordable place to be alone without the distractions of daily life. A hotel works too, but some people really need a place with absolutely no distractions and temptations.
Marriage Encounter Weekend happens worldwide. It is a Catholic-sponsored event, but it is open for everyone. Because Catholics believe in the sanctity of marriage, it does what it can to keep couples together.
Your marriage is between you and God.
A marriage encounter just sets the stage, it will have very little intervention as opposed to seminars, counseling, and the like. It operates under the belief that mature consenting adults old enough to get married are responsible enough to keep it that way.
Individuals may love each other, but living together for a long creates small cracks in any relationship. Nobody is perfect, and because marriages are composed of two imperfect people, it’s bound to have flaws.
Little cracks get bigger over time and without proper maintenance, big cracks become irreparable damage.
Dating each other help reestablish those bonds and make it stronger.
Marriage Encounter Weekend is exactly like that. It just adds God to the mix, after all, you did promise in his name the vows that hold your marriage together.