S04 Ep02 – Marriage Preparation


0:00 – 0:23 = Intro
0:28 – 1:23 = Topic Introduction and Context
1:24 – 6:05 = Marriage preparation
6:06 – 7:34 = Sex Education
7:35 – 11:07 = About Marriage
11:08 – 17:15 = Importance of marriage
17:16 – 34:17 = Talking about divorce and consequences
34:18 – 34:29 = Closing

Not enough resources in the Church for young people and couples.

  • We’re doing a disservice to young couples by not adequately preparing people for marriage – we rarely speak about marriage until a couple is engaged, and then we crash course them into marriage.
  • There’s a very small window for marriage preparation before we talk about family and having children.

‘Adequate prep has remote, proximate and immediate dimensions.’ (Saint John Paul II)

  • The normal program does not supply the information that the individual needed from birth –
  • Remote Preparation – the individual shown from birth what a loving relationship looks like, between father and mother, husband and wife.
  • Proximate – how your future will look like, as a teen. Give people a sense of what marriage, children, finances, addressing sexuality and human love – how all this looks like.
  • Immediate dimension always suffers, if the previous two were not addressed previously. Teaching people in our own Church who have not been catechised properly. It’s a cultural shift that’s occurred where things have changed so much.
  • For parents who feel like they have failed, is because there is a reason for it that you may have not experienced or been educated yourself. Let’s encourage a shift and change in this space now.

The conversation of marriage: as in – God pursuing his people, and our hearts were made for spousal love with him. This should be taught from day dot, so that as a child develops that child understands they are called to marriage. This is etched on their heart, and it is God’s desire to see you united to him and celebrating together at the wedding feast in heaven.

Marriage is sort of the theme that runs throughout the entirety of the Scriptures. God forms covenants with His people.

  • The covenants were always broke. But God always comes to renew and save.
  • Song of Songs – one large marriage song.  
  • As that child then grows, we dialogue about the ways that we image that marriage here on earth and that some are called to image the spousal love between Christ and the church through the marriage of a man and woman.
  • And talk about others are called to bear witness to the eternal union in a life of celibacy through some form of religious or consecrated life. Discuss whether there’s a call for marriage or religious life.
  • This way, no matter which vocational path a person chooses, as Christians we can recognise we’re all called into spousal love with God, and we’re all called to witness that on earth in some way. So when a young couple are engaged and preparing for marriage they are better equipped to understand that their call isn’t so much about bearing witness on one day with a great big wedding celebration, but about their married life together. 
  • Precisely for this reason JPII includes the celibate life in his work theology of the body. Marriage and celibate states are complimentary, working together and are for each other.

Therefore it must be cared for. Must care for this covenant with God. We have a duty and an obligation to care for our vocation. If they are called to be an icon of the love of God, then anything that creates a shadow, or a block, preventing it from being able to be fully experienced and expressed needs to be worked on. That means talking to your pastor or priest AND speaking with a relationship counsellor.

Too often I hear people think that relationship counselling is only for couples who are on the brink of divorce, and it’s a last resort hope if they’ve been unable to work things out.

  • If you’ve hit that point, you’ve waited far too long. Not so long that it can’t be worked through, but you should have come forward sooner.

E.g. It’s the difference between watching all the red lights and check engine lights going off on your Lamborghini for weeks, months, years even and thinking, I won’t take this pricey, extremely valuable car to a mechanic, because this is my car, it’s survived this long, it will keep going. INSTEAD noticing at the first sight that something isn’t quite right, or it’s not running as smooth as it used to and taking it in for a service or a look over just in case. Because hey, we don’t want to cause unnecessary damage to the car that we love. Now if you wouldn’t do that to your fancy car, why do we do that to the heart of the one we’ve committed to love most on this earth? To the greatest gift a spouse is given by God on this earth, the gift of the other? 

As a pastor Padre has difficulty in convincing couples to go to a relationship councellor. Because there is this inherent judgement that if we go to a councillor there must be something wrong. 

  • Well, yeah. Cuz guess what, You ain’t perfect!!! And you guys ain’t gonna fix it yourselves. 
  • That’s why he now makse it a subject of conversation in my marriage prep course and encourages them to see a councillor from day one. 
  • We don’t value our marriages.
  • Stina sees couples who want to improve their relationship even after the thing they came in for is no longer a concern. They’ve cottoned on that even after decades of marriage there are wounds that haven’t been dealt with, and they no longer want to keep hurting their spouse AND they want a more thriving relationship. 
  • She also knows of couples who see their relationship counsellor once every 6 to 12 months just for a routine catch up, fine tune their skills and pick up a couple of new ones – Some will say it’s expensive, I say it’s an investment worth making. Besides…divorce and family separation is much more expensive.  


Padre: First Holy Communicants

Stina: Book – Searching for and Maintaining Peace – Jacque Philippe 

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