• 68°

Still honoring the sanctity of marriage

By Chris A. Quilpa

Former president George W. Bush once said, “No matter what else I do, asking Laura to marry me was the best decision of my life.” He and the former First Lady have been married since 1977.

Family sociologist Linda J. Waite and journalist Maggie Gallagher, in their book “The Case for Marriage,” conclude that married people “live longer, have better health, earn more money, accumulate more wealth, feel more fulfillment in their lives, enjoy more satisfying sexual relationships, and have happier and more successful children than those who remain single, cohabit, or get divorced.”

A stable marriage may be your most important asset when it comes to building wealth or avoiding poverty, they wrote.

“When people marry, they are immediately better off, because they now have a claim on not only their own, but their spouse’s future income. Over time, the advantages of marriage increase as couples benefit from higher earnings created by specialization, lifestyle that encourages savings, the help of a partner in restraining impulse spending, and the reduced costs sharing a life permits.”

Marriage preserves life and the human race, as a whole. It also protects health. Research has shown that married people are healthier mentally  and happier emotionally than single and divorced.

Yes, marriage matters. It still matters to all married couples, like me and my wife Freny, who celebrated our 32nd anniversary on Friday.

With two young adult children, Andrew (an IT instructor based in Washington, D.C.) and Christine (a school counselor married to my son-in-law Robbie, an IT network administrator), we’re doing well, trying to enjoy life.

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

Our marriage is not perfect, but it is strong, because we have vowed to stay and pray together and love each other.

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.

The sanctity of marriage has been threatened by those who question its relevance today.

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

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: “…so 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.”

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

  • Do not get married unless you plan to keep your vows.
  • Fulfill your vows by staying married.
  • Fulfill your vows by maintaining emotional and moral fidelity.
  • 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.

To my loving wife Freny and me, Happy 32nd anniversary! May God bless us and our family always.

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