Tuesday, March 5, 2013
A Good Man is Hard to Find
“Dear Husband-to-be ~ It has been getting harder and harder for me to write this letter. What started out 12 years ago as pure anticipation in these letters and dreamy-eyed wonder about who you are has changed the past couple years to reflect a more hard-hitting reality. Youthful exuberance has been tempered by the personal pain and sadness of broken relationships, lost expectations, and crushing disappointments. The road has had some detours, and honestly, I didn’t think it would take this long and hard to find you...”
Unfortunately, we live in far more difficult times than our ancestors or even our parents did. Our chances of finding a good spouse have significantly diminished, given the breakdown of marriage in our day and how we’ve abused the gift of sexuality and degraded the meaning of life. We live in the age of the Great Divorce – the divorce of husband from wife, of children from parents, of sexual intimacy from commitment, of reproduction from sex, of religion from culture, of technology from nature, of individuals from each other. Technology is furthering the isolation even while connecting us with the world at large.
I went into a restaurant recently and was surprised to see a whole group of 12-year-old girls sporting iPhones. Go into public and almost everyone has a Smartphone in their hand. Go into our households, and no one is talking to each other because everyone is on a different device.Sometimes, I think we are hiding from effective dialogue and interaction with others behind our screens. The screen is highly addictive and offers a way to virtually interact with others without any level of commitment or personal investment. And nowadays, this is how people often enter relationships.
It’s going to get worse before it gets better. This is because youth are growing up in a world that sets no boundaries and tells them to do whatever their instincts and passions tell them to do. It is a world that tells them to behave like the animals, which do not have self-control over their instincts. But without self-control, we become addicted to our thirsts and passions and slaves of our addictions.
I do not understand how birth control advocates keep singing the praises of the sexual “liberation” when all we've seen since the 1960s is a skyrocket increase in sexual addiction to porn, masturbation, promiscuity, fornication, and immoral music and television – this is slavery to our wayward thirsts and passions. If we think this is freedom, look at what’s at stake; talk to those who have lost careers, marriages and families because of their addictions.
There are basically three camps of single people today: divorced singles, singles having sex outside of marriage, and singles who are committed to not having sex until marriage. As a good Catholic girl and boy, there is really only one camp to draw a worthy spouse from and that one happens to be the third camp. Why?
Because Jesus says that anyone who divorces and marries another commits adultery (Mark 10:11-12), because marriage is meant to be a lifelong and exclusive union. I have wept because so many of my parents' and my own generation are the walking wounded. “A divorce is like an amputation: you survive it but there’s less of you,” writes Margaret Atwood.
Also, because the Bible teaches it’s a sin to fornicate (i.e. have sex outside of marriage - it doesn’t matter if it’s your partner for life or your partner for a night). It continues to shock me that most of the culture, even those brought up with traditional values, even Catholics, have resigned themselves to the fact, “Oh, that’s what couples do nowadays” – plummeting into co-habitation and explaining it away through convenience: “We moved in together to save money on rent.” Bah! Is money your God? When did convenience justify wrong? How can you reconcile being a Christian if you are living in the sin of fornication? (1 Thess. 4:3-8, 1 Cor. 6:12-20).
I believe there will be a Final Judgment. What a frightening experience that will be for those who have waved the banners of moral relativism all their life.
“Sex before marriage means broken hearts and broken bonds. Broken hearts don’t trust others as much. People with broken hearts don’t trust themselves as much. People think they should take a partner out for a ‘test drive’ before getting married. But this hasn’t made it easier to learn if the person is compatible because couples having sex often overlook important differences because the sex is good. People who live together before marriage have a higher divorce rate” (Read more: http://catholicbridge.com/catholic/chastity.php).
In other words, God puts all the good, bonding chemicals of sex in marriage for this reason – to help couples stay together once committed to each other.
There is another reason the pool of eligible marriage candidates is so small. A third of my generation has been aborted. We'll never know these missing persons until we meet them in heaven.
Therefore, we are in an unusual predicament. There are few eligible individuals left who are free to marry. Indeed we may have it harder than any of the generations before us in America to find a worthy wife and a worthy husband. Obviously, we face the challenge of not only finding each other through the maze of this messy world, but of establishing a healthy, permanent, fruitful, faithful, and life-giving marriage union grounded in Christ.
I am inspired by the story of “How We Met” by David and Kirsten on the website http://catholicbridge.com/david_music/how_we_met.php As the testimonies of David and Kirsten show, God really works in amazing ways to bring two people together who He has picked for each other. David was a post-abortive father with a history, but he turned his life around and God led him to Kirsten. Their stories show just how heroically David and Kirsten patiently sought after God’s plan for their life and how they were rewarded. What a testimony to God’s faithfulness!
Therefore, I encourage all singles in whichever camp they are in to get reconciled to God. Line up your life according to God’s law, so that you can pursue a relationship in purity and peace when the time is right.
To my fellow sisters out there waiting, who need a bit of encouragement, hurry to Amazon and order your copy of Emily Stimpson’s adorable, witty and profound book The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years. It’s worth reading!