SFX for Life
A Web Ministry of the Gospel of Life Committee,
The Catholic Community of St. Francis Xavier, Hunt Valley, Maryland
Building a culture of love and life in the face of a culture of utility and death
More content available on the marriage archive page

Feature Articles

Dancing In The Mine Fields (Official Music Video)

Wonderful song about marriage.

Click twice. It will take you to youtube.

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Kenny Chesney - The Good Stuff

This is a song about what is good in life, and Marriage plays a big role in it.

Click twice. It will take you to you tube.

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Marriage - Homosexuality

Video: Same-Sex Marriage, How Should Christians React and Respond?

By: John Stonestreet | Published: May 10, 2013 2:49 PM
Christians might be delusional when it comes to the issue of marriage and the culture. John Stonestreet tells us how we should rethink the whole issue.

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Moral Principles

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Love Into Light - A Christian Approach to Homosexuality

By: Eric Metaxas|Published: September 16, 2013 5:30 AM
There’s a new book out called “Love Into Light: The Gospel, the Homosexual, and the Church.” I want you to read it, and I’ll tell you why, next on BreakPoint.
Too often, opinions about how the Church should respond to homosexuality fall into two diametrically opposed camps: one side urges us to cast aside, or at least downplay, what the scriptures and the Church have taught for two thousand years in the hope of “saving the brand.”
While the other side is closer to a biblically orthodox perspective, their rhetoric and thinly-if-at-all-disguised... Read More

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"A climate of intolerance and intimidation"

February 18, 2014 at 10:02 am
Almost from the start of the debate over redefining marriage, experts on both sides have warned of the coming conflict over religious liberty.
IntimidationWhat were once hypothetical conflicts have now become very real, as people of faith—those who believe that God designed marriage as the union of one man and one woman—have repeatedly been the ones forced to compromise and violate their consciences in the name of same-sex marriage.
Ryan T. Anderson and Leslie Ford of the Heritage Foundation write today in the National Review Online about the present state of these conflicts and... Read More

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Baking Cakes for Caesar- Why We Need Freedom to Say ‘No’

By: John Stonestreet|Published: March 3, 2014 5:30 AM
Would Jesus bake cakes for same-sex weddings? It’s a good question, but there’s more to this whole issue than just WWJD. Stay tuned to BreakPoint.
The call for tolerating same-sex marriage has become a demand for compliance. Cases like Masterpiece Cake Shop in Colorado and Elane Huguenin’s New Mexico photography business have shown us that “tolerance” ends exactly where the right to say “no” begins. And so people, businesses, and non-profits are forced to choose between their livelihoods and their convictions.
Some fellow Christians are giving this new state of affairs a... Read More

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Ask Rabbi Lapin: Do you treat gay people kindly?

Do you treat gay people kindly?
~Anonymous
Dear Anonymous,
One of the challenges of this ‘Ask the Rabbi’ column is that we often have to interpret the questions we get. Without the chance of dialogue, we are not exactly sure what you are asking. Are you wondering how we might personally treat you were we to meet in person? Are you asking our advice on how everyone should treat those who follow homosexual ways? What exactly does the word ‘kindly’ mean?
Within that limitation, we are going to attempt a response. We certainly hope that we treat every human being... Read More

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American Bans on Same-Sex Marriage Do Not Exist

By Michael Bradley | February 20, 2014 at EthikaPolitika.org.
In my home state of Indiana, legislators are currently debating a potential amendment to the state constitution.
Section 2 of the House Joint Resolution No. 3 (formerly HJR-6) suggested (but no longer fully suggests, as the second sentence was voted down by the House earlier this 2014) amending Article 1, Section 38 of Indiana’s Constitution to read as follows:
“Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage... Read More

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Marriage - Wisdom

A Man May Stand…

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Dealing with Your Anger

If you don't learn how to handle anger, you will constantly hurt others.
by David Powlison
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
What makes you angry? Are they small things, like traffic jams, lines at the grocery store, not being able to find a shoe, a waiter’s mistake, or a friend’s inattention?
Are they big things, like when someone betrays you? Experiences of injustice, meanness, violence, oppression, selfishness, or lying?
How do you deal with your anger? Do you explode? Does everyone around you know when and why you are angry? Or are you more subtle?
Do you get irritated and... Read More

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7 Things to Remember About Sex

Your spouse approaches intimacy much differently than you.
by Bob Lepine
It’s no surprise that many husbands and wives think differently about sex. And these differences can easily become a source of conflict in marriage.
With that in mind, I want to suggest seven things men need to remember about sex and seven things wives need to keep in mind as well:
What husbands should remember about sex
1. Hollywood sex is made up. It’s a fantasy. The people in romantic scenes in movies are actors. Don’t try to measure your marital sex against what you see in a romantic… Read More

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The Real Truth about ‘Boring’ Men — and the Women who Live with Them: Redefining Boring

So not every guy proposes with lip syncing, rolling cameras, and a choreographed entourage.
Yeah — so what if your Dad didn’t?
He just pulled that beat-up Volkswagon Rabbit of his over in front of Murray Reesor’s hundred acre farm right there where Grey Township meets Elma Township, pulled out a little red velvet box, and whispered it in the snowy dark: “Marry me?”
“He didn’t even get down on one knee or anything?”
You boys ask it incredulous, like there’s some kind of manual for this kind of holy.
And I’ve got no qualms in telling you no. No,... Read More

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Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan

A Pastoral Letter of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
INTRODUCTION: THE BLESSING AND GIFT OF MARRIAGE
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. (Eph 1:3)
Among the many blessings that God has showered upon us in Christ is the blessing of marriage, a gift bestowed by the Creator from the creation of the human race. His hand has inscribed the vocation to marriage in the very nature of man and woman (see Gn 1:27-28, 2:21-24).
Father, by your plan man and... Read More

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Marriage - Meaning and Purpose

Marriage is the intimate union and equal partnership of a man and a woman. It comes to us from the hand of God, who created male and female in his image, so that they might become one body and might be fertile and multiply (See Genesis chapters 1 and 2). Though man and woman are equal as God’s children, they are created with important differences that allow them to give themselves and to receive the other as a gift.
Marriage is both a natural institution and a sacred union because it is rooted in the divine plan of creation. In... Read More

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Marriage - Marital Sexuality

The Catholic Church, in its official teaching, has always taken a positive view of sexuality in marriage. Marital intercourse, says the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is “noble and honorable,” established by God so that “spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit.” (#2362).
The Church’s positive understanding of sexuality is rooted in the teachings of Jesus that were, in part, drawn from the wisdom of the Old Testament. Both the Book of Genesis and the Song of Songs describe the basic goodness of sexual love in marriage. In the New Testament, Jesus began his public ministry with... Read More

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Marriage - Between Man and Woman

Why does the Catholic Church teach that marriage can exist only between a man and a woman?

Marriage, as both a natural institution and a sacred union, is rooted in God’s plan for creation. The truth that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman is woven deeply into the human spirit. The Church’s teaching on marriage expresses a truth, therefore, that can be perceived first and foremost by human reason. This truth has been confirmed by divine Revelation in Sacred Scripture.

Why can marriage exist only between a man and a woman?

The natural structure of human... Read More

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Accountability With Your Spouse

by Dennis Rainey
The wise preacher declared, “Two are better than one because … if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up” (Ecclesiastes. 4:9–10). That Scripture shouts the value of mutual support or accountability in marriage.
Here are some areas where Barbara and I have learned to practice accountability in our marriage:
1. Spiritual health. Every marriage—every life—must involve daily communication with and dependence on God in order to remain on track. Most of us are prone to laziness or... Read More

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Pray Together to Stay Together

Posted on July 7, 2011 by Bryan Davis
Studies bear out this fact – couples that pray together, stay together. When folks ask us for marital advice, our first question to them usually focuses on their prayer life. It’s amazing how many problems will be corrected when a couple will diligently pray and ask God for help. Here are a few tips:
* Pray with your wife every day at the same time.
* Limit interruptions. Let your kids know you all will be praying and you expect them to give you a few minutes of peace.
* Take a... Read More

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Marriage: Putting on the Brakes - A First Look at "Second Chances"

November 09, 2011
In her 1968 country tear-jerker about her divorce, Tammy Wynette sang about her son and about-to-be ex-husband, “I love you both and this will be pure H. E. double L. for me. Oh, I wish that we could stop this D.I.V.O.R.C.E.”
New research shows that Tammy is not alone.
Working with the Institute for American Values, principal investigators Professor William Doherty of the University of Minnesota and retired Georgia Supreme Court Justice Leah Ward Sears discovered that “About forty percent of couples already deeply into the divorce process report that one or both spouses are interested in... Read More

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20 tips for creating a family-centered life

Do you have a family-centered life? Review the list below and add your own thoughts in our Comments section.
1. Mom and Dad have a consistent date night alone together at least once a month
2. Dad has scheduled one-on-one time with each of his children at least once a month
3. Entire family gathers for dinner at least 3 times a week
4. Dad texts, e-mails or calls each of his children at least once a day
5. A monthly family home video night
6. A monthly family board game night
7. Saturday chores are done with the kids... Read More

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10 Strategies to Help Solve Your Marriage Problems

Many good marriages slip into crisis because we don’t or won’t believe how much work it takes to keep relationships humming at optimal levels. Another reason is a simple failure in imagination.
But - if successful courting requires commitment, hard work and imagination to pull off… then why does it surprise us when neglect hurts relationships after we walk down the aisle? She wouldn’t have married you if you took her for granted - why risk everything now?
There are many good strategies if we want to restore a problematic – or “under the weather” – marriage. All Pro Dad... Read More

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An NFL Running Back Tackles Your Marriage Problems

Posted on October 31, 2011 by Bryan Davis
Seattle Seahawks running back, Justin Forsett, made an R&B music video for his wife, Angela, for their one-year anniversary. See Tony Dungy give his take on Justin’s musical talents. This is definitely the best love song ever performed by an NFC West player. Remember how you felt as excited about your wife as Justin when you first got married? Does that passion now keep getting tackled in the backfield? Here are 10 strategies to help solve your marriage problems. Read More

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Marriage - Information

Mawwage…

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Closing the book on open marriage

July 18th, 2011
By W. Bradford Wilcox
The Open Marriage, by Nena and George O’Neill, was published in 1972, as the sexual revolution gathered steam in America. The best-selling book encouraged spouses to “to strip marriage of its antiquated ideals” and, most famously in one chapter, to explore sexual partnerships outside their marriage, if they so desired.
Fortunately, the book has since come to be seen as an antiquated relic of the Me Decade, when all too many men and women put their own desires—in the sexual arena, as in so many other arenas—ahead of the needs of their spouse,... Read More

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Married to the State

by Sarah Jean Seman February 3, 2014
Marriage is a little bit terrifying.
Just think about it. It joins two individuals with their own sets of aspirations, habits, quirks, fiscal responsibilities, and families in a binding contract…‘til death do you part.
If consenting to lifelong codependence is not slightly petrifying, I don’t know what is. Except, perhaps, becoming codependent without consenting.
Welcome to the new progressivist union: marriage to the state. It’s an institution enabled by Big Government and for Big Government through federal incentives and services; where cohabitation and living alone comes with more financial perks than marriage, and... Read More

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Resources

Securing the Foundation - The Maryland Catholic Conference Marriage Page

Preserving Marriage in Maryland
In marriage, a husband and a wife make a public and reciprocal commitment, assuming duties to society, to themselves, and to their children. Society and the law reciprocate by bestowing on marriage a juridical status that recognizes the essential role that families play in society. The family, based on marriage, is a natural institution that is prior to the state. As such, the reservation of marriage to the union of one man and one woman is a fact of nature, not a social prejudice. The law grants traditional marriage exclusive privileges because it is the seedbed of future generations.

View the marriage page at the Maryland Catholic Conference Website: http://www.mdcathcon.org/marriage

Hat Tip: Shannon

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Relevant Excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

2685

The Christian family is the first place of education in prayer. Based on the sacrament of marriage, the family is the "domestic church" where God's children learn to pray "as the Church" and to persevere in prayer. For young children in particular, daily family prayer is the first witness of the Church's living memory as awakened patiently by the Holy Spirit.

2205

The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and education of children it reflects the Father's work of creation. It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ. Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen it in charity. The Christian family has an evangelizing and missionary task.

2206

The relationships within the family bring an affinity of feelings, affections and interests, arising above all from the members' respect for one another. The family is a privileged community called to achieve a "sharing of thought and common deliberation by the spouses as well as their eager cooperation as parents in the children's upbringing."

2207

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. Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society.

2208

The family should live in such a way that its members learn to care and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped, and the poor. There are many families who are at times incapable of providing this help. It devolves then on other persons, other families, and, in a subsidiary way, society to provide for their needs: "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world."

2209

The family must be helped and defended by appropriate social measures. Where families cannot fulfill their responsibilities, other social bodies have the duty of helping them and of supporting the institution of the family. Following the principle of subsidiarity, larger communities should take care not to usurp the family's prerogatives or interfere in its life.

2210

The importance of the family for the life and well-being of society entails a particular responsibility for society to support and strengthen marriage and the family. Civil authority should consider it a grave duty "to acknowledge the true nature of marriage and the family, to protect and foster them, to safeguard public morality, and promote domestic prosperity."

2211

The political community has a duty to honor the family, to assist it, and to ensure especially:
  • the freedom to establish a family, have children, and bring them up in keeping with the family's own moral and religious convictions;
  • the protection of the stability of the marriage bond and the institution of the family;
  • the freedom to profess one's faith, to hand it on, and raise one's children in it, with the necessary means and institutions;
  • the right to private property, to free enterprise, to obtain work and housing, and the right to emigrate;
  • in keeping with the country's institutions, the right to medical care, assistance for the aged, and family benefits;
  • the protection of security and health, especially with respect to dangers like drugs, pornography, alcoholism, etc.;
  • the freedom to form associations with other families and so to have representation before civil authority.

2232

Family ties are important but not absolute. Just as the child grows to maturity and human and spiritual autonomy, so his unique vocation which comes from God asserts itself more clearly and forcefully. Parents should respect this call and encourage their children to follow it. They must be convinced that the first vocation of the Christian is to follow Jesus: "He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."

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Relevant Quotations

Marriage is an act of will that signifies and involves a mutual gift, which unites the spouses and binds them to their eventual souls, with whom they make up a sole family - a domestic church.
Pope John Paul II

We only regard those unions as real examples of love and real marriages in which a fixed and unalterable decision has been taken. If men or women contemplate an escape, they do not collect all their powers for the task. In none of the serious and important tasks of life do we arrange such a "getaway." We cannot love and be limited.
Alfred Adler

Being a Catholic is a bit like being married. We have a relationship with the Church and with Jesus Christ that's very similar to being a spouse. And that has consequences. If a man says he loves his wife, his wife will want to see the evidence in his love and fidelity. The same applies to our relationship with God. If we say we're Catholic, we need to show that by our love for the Church and our fidelity to what she teaches and believes. Otherwise we're just fooling ourselves, because God certainly won't be fooled.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap

It is not morally possible for any Catholic to support abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning, or same-sex marriage. There are no ways around this, no justifications whatever. Why? For the simple reason that the Church holds these things to be intrinsically evil. They are evil in themselves, and no circumstances or subjective conditions can ever change that.
Fr. Corapi

Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle.
Amy Bloom

Marriage is our last, best chance to grow up.
Joseph Barth

Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.
Mark Twain

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.
Mignon McLaughlin:

As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.
Pope John Paul II

The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish.
Pope John Paul II

To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others.
Pope John Paul II

"From the wild Irish slums of the 19th-century Eastern seaboard to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angeles, there is one unmistakable lesson in American history: a community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken families - dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future - that community asks for and gets chaos."
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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