30 years of making marriage work

Published 11:59 pm Friday, October 30, 2015

Nov. 3 is special for me. For 30 years, I have been married to Freny, my wife and the mother of my two young adult children, Andrew and Christine. To Freny and my family, happy anniversary!

Thank God, we have come this far, amidst the challenges in our marriage. We have weathered storms, fought and won battles and overcome difficulties and problems that only strengthened our relationship.

Our marriage is not perfect but solid and strong, because we have vowed to stay and pray together, love each other forever, ‘til death do us part. That’s our commitment, and promise to our children, relatives and friends, near or far.

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I believe in the sanctity of marriage. Since the day I married Freny, I have tried to live it, in sickness or in health, and I will continue to uphold it for the rest of my life.

I’m aware the above statement has been said or written by many around the world. But it has also been laughed at or brushed aside too many times.

Sanctity is the condition of holiness or sacredness; the state of being holy, sacred or saintly. Sanctity is synonymous with holiness.

Nowadays, the sanctity of marriage has been threatened by those who question its relevance and importance in our wired world. It is a contentious issue because of alarming divorce statistics.

Marriage involves a serious commitment of two people loving and caring for each other and committed to live their lives together forever.

As the foundation of a family and the society, marriage can be defined as the legally or formally recognized union of a man and a woman (or, in some jurisdictions, two people of the same sex) as partners in a relationship. It is a recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, first and foremost.

As a Catholic Christian, I have observed and been taught, at an early age, that marriage is between a man and a woman. Having been married to the same woman to whom I committed myself for life, I would safely say that I still believe in the sanctity of marriage.

In Genesis 2:24, we read: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” That thought comes up again in Matthew 19:6. ”…(S)o they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Dennis Rainey, author and host of FamilyLife Today, once wrote that marriage is a sacred covenant between one man, one woman and their God for a lifetime. “It is a public vow of how you will relate to your spouse as you form a new family unit,” he wrote.

Rainey suggested four commitments to help you fulfill your marriage vows for a lifetime:

1) Do not get married unless you plan to keep your vows.

2) Fulfill your vows by staying married.

3) Fulfill your vows by maintaining emotional and moral fidelity.

4) Fulfill your vows by praying faithfully with your spouse.

There’s no such thing as perfect marriage. Marriage works when spouses work together to make it work.

Chris A. Quilpa, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk. Email him at chris.a.quilpa@gmail.com.