All in This Together?
For the past year, media has been flooded with slogans that encourage solidarity against the coronavirus, a global crisis that somehow makes us “all in this together.” Lockdown restrictions and social distancing have made our individual bubbles so much smaller. And so, it’s tempting to think that the answers to today’s problems lie in a globalization of governance and human activity in society.
Family as Microcosm of Society
But if we look at this world in crisis through a Christian lens, informed by the Gospel and the Church’s perennial teachings, we discover a radical shift in focus – away from a global view to that of the world in miniature within the microcosm of the family.
As Pope St. John Paul II teaches in Familiaris Consortio, the family is “the first and vital cell of society.” By virtue of the grace of the sacrament of marriage, couples become the nucleus of this fundamental human cell. And like the human cell, marriage contains the biological and spiritual inheritance of the family and is responsible for the reproduction, growth and coordination of all its activities.
Marriage a Reflection of God’s Love
The love between a husband and wife is a reflection of the love of the Holy Trinity. In sacramental marriage, God’s love takes on flesh and blood through Christ, in Christ, and with Christ. And in raising a family, couples are invited to walk in the garden with God once again and participate in the beautiful mystery of creation.
All this theological truth sounds lovely, doesn’t it? And most of us would agree with this in theory. But our challenge – especially in these particularly challenging times – is living out that lovely reality in the messiness and craziness of day-to-day life. It’s sometimes hard to see the reflection of the Trinity in marriage when the image in the mirror is not exactly the Beatific Vision.
There’s the twenty extra pounds (not enough walks in the garden) … and dark circles (compliments of the new baby) … and the traces of frustrated tears as a result of raising … and schooling, and feeding, and entertaining, and disciplining … those little mysteries of creation.
Parents are Couples too!
So often, in the busyness and … dare I say it? … drudgery of parenting, parents forget that they’re a couple too, with a story that’s interwoven yet still distinct from the family story. Taking time to cultivate a marriage relationship is something that’s usually so far down the to-do list that it rarely gets to-done. And yet, without the nucleus – the husband and wife – the vital life of the family, and of society! can become sick, and even wither and die.
So, during this month of February, when love is in the air, why not take some time out of parenting, and working, and homemaking, and adulting, to reconnect with your spouse and rediscover that heavenly Love that brought you together in the first place.
♥ Join Augustine Institute Show host, Tim Gray as he interviews Matt and Mindy Dalton from Marriage Missionaries. Discover creative ways to strengthen your marriage, especially during these difficult COVID times.
♥ Take The Love Language Quiz and learn how to give and receive love in more meaningful ways, and grow closer than ever.
♥ Knowing your conflict style can help you navigate successfully through the toughest conversations. Visit Riverhouse Press to learn more about how you deal with conflict.
♥ Know your temperament? Take the Temperament Quiz and find out!
Above all, remember that you’re not alone in your marriage. There’s you, your spouse, and God. And He is always ready and waiting to pour out the graces of the marriage sacrament if you invite Him into the mix.