By Gina Weiss
“The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life.”
– The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2207
Although this is the ideal, more than 40% of all births in the United States today are to unwed mothers. But is pregnancy and birth outside of wedlock, reason enough for a couple to marry?
On Calling All Catholics with canon lawyer Fr. Bob Zilliox, he answered this question, saying that even if couples conceive, it does not mean that they have the responsibility to get married. He said that while it’s good if the parents are married and living out a family life there is much more to marriage than raising a child together. Marriage is also about the partnership and the permanence of the relationship.
We can learn a lot from Fr. Bob’s response. It shows how marriage is important and blessed by God even before children may come along. Sometimes married parents begin to focus on their children to such an extent that their own relationship is neglected.
But the irony is that by making time for the spousal relationship, parents are giving the best they can to their children. There are so many broken relationships and hurting marriages in our world. Children need to see that beyond the beauty of raising a family, there is a special love, care and selflessness that spouses give to each other.
This Lent, consider how you can grow in your marriage. Express what you love about your spouse, help your spouse with a project or go out of your way to make a special dinner reservation for just the two of you. The way we love our spouse will encourage and uplift our children and anyone else who might see the love between us.
This episode of Calling All Catholics aired at 5 pm Eastern on Monday, February 8, 2016.
For more on Calling All Catholics, please visit our page dedicated to the show by clicking here.