Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY MATRIMONY
Marriage is the first institution by God on earth. It is a divine sacrament filled with the grace of God. After creating Adam, God found that it was not good for man to be alone, and he wanted to make a suitable helper for man. God created woman by taking one of the ribs of man. Genesis 2:24 says ‘That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.’ This was the vision of God upon which the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is based upon. This union of man and woman can be called the sacrament of Holy Matrimony only when God is uniting them. Otherwise, it is just a secular union of two individuals. Holy matrimony, when approached by understanding the divine vision behind it, will turn out to be a blessing. Marriage turns out to be a Holy Matrimony only when it is based on the Godly principles laid out in the Word of God. In 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Apostle Paul lays out an important factor that makes marriage a Holy Matrimony. It is LOVE. Holy matrimony is a sacrament ordained by God. Divine grace will be overflowing from that union. The LOVE that should be overflowing from a marriage life must have the following features. 1 Corinthians 13:4 says ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. ‘. Marriage life should be the epitome of pure love. Also, marriage life should be holy and acceptable to God. It is sacramental life that prepares us to face the challenges of life with God.
The sacrament of Holy Matrimony reminds us of the following.
Be devoted to one another
It is an occasion that reminds both man and woman to be devoted to each other. For this to happen, both must realize the purpose of God behind the holy matrimony. Romans 12:10a says ‘Be devoted to one another in love.’ When divine love overpowers emotions, there will be a sense of belonging in marriage life. It is this lack of understanding, which is destroying the matrimonial life. It is a lifelong willingness to live for each other that makes matrimonial life a blessing for both man and woman. It is not based on any emotions or appearances but purely based on the purity of heart and mind. Romans 12:10b says ‘Outdo one another in showing honor. The sacrament of Holy Communion reminds us that both people should outdo in honoring each other.
Have a faith-oriented approach
The sacrament of matrimonial life inspires us to keep God as the focal point of life. Both husband and wife should try to maintain deep faith in God. If only one party is concerned about faith, facing challenges together will turn into a nightmare. Believing in the promises of God will keep the matrimonial life strong. The word of God should be the controller of all aspects of life. Faith-affirming actions should stem from a matrimonial life. Our Holy matrimonial life should inspire a society where the number of broken families increases day by day leading to the building up of individuals relying on drugs and guns.
Have a lifelong commitment
The sacrament of Holy Matrimony brings a man and woman to a commitment that should last till the end of their life. It is Almighty God who is uniting a man and woman to live together till the end of their life. This relation should sustain and nourish the heartfelt caring for each other. Both are called to be in fellowship with each other. Matthew 19:3-9 highlights the attitude of Jesus Christ to marriage. ‘They are no longer two, but one flesh. Through Holy Matrimony, two different personalities are united to be a new flesh with a new unique perspective. This becomes possible only due to the presence of Holy Spirit in every area of marriage life. Yes, matrimonial life gets strengthened only when that life gives Holy Spirit a pivotal role.
What the world needs today are strong families born out of the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. A society and a nation will disintegrate when families fall apart. Christian families giving importance for the Holy Matrimony will contribute to the strong building up of a strong society and nation.
Almighty Lord, thank you for the divine institution of Holy Matrimony you have established in this world. Lord, help us to convert Holy Matrimonial life into a heavenly experience through love, pure devotion, and commitment. Strengthen and guide each moment of our matrimonial life with the presence of thy Holy Spirit. In the mighty name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
St. Peter’s Mar Thoma Church
Township of Washington, NJ