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Will You Marry Me?

I had a number of other ideas to write about, both offline in my personal journal and online in this blog, but instead I spent practically the whole afternoon today poring over new material in this post that I discovered / re-discovered in the internet.  Well actually, I was still able to publish a couple of posts, in particular one about St. John Bosco’s dream and another about a pro-life advertisement which I find significant, but I have more in queue…
 
This coming Saturday is Valentine’s Day.  As we remember that special someone in our lives that make our heart skip a beat — or the reason for our heart still beating at all — let’s take a while to also contemplate on ideas that go beyond the romance that this day brings.  I’m talking about marriage, intimacy, and the Christian view of it all. 
 
I invite you to check out the following material, pulled from KuyaKevin.com, Pure Intimacy and Boundless.  I included a quick extract of some of the content in the articles cited so you have an idea of what it’s about.  I personally agree with the ideas they espouse; you don’t have to, but at least it’s something to think and talk about.  (I had some interesting offline discussions about my post regarding attraction; I’m guessing I’ll be having similar discussions regarding this.)
 
Marriage
 
The pull between the desire to love and be loved and the desire to be free is an old, fierce one. If the error our grandmothers made was to have surrendered too much of themselves for others, this was perhaps better than not being prepared to surrender anything at all. The fear of losing oneself can, in the end, simply become an excuse for not giving any of oneself away. Generations of women may have had no choice but to commit themselves to marriage early and then to feel imprisoned by their lifelong domesticity. So many of our generation have decided to put it off until it is too late, not foreseeing that lifelong independence can be its own kind of prison, too.
NOTE: This paticular article has generated so much flak from some well-meaning readers that they issued an article entitled Defending "The Cost of Delaying Marriage" to tackle the criticisms raised.  Check this out too.
 
…many young people make the mistake of ignoring such problems. "Love conquers all," they say, and they avoid difficult conversations and choices. Don’t make this mistake. If you are considering a relationship, be 100% honest–eyes wide open. Honestly discuss everything before you get too committed or emotionally involved.
If both spouses were the same, one would be unnecessary… Only God could have thought of using marriage as a healing agent for male and female. Only God could design two that become one and yet are better than one. 
 
Let me just say that the idea I’m getting here is basically this: If you’re not called to lead the celibate life (priesthood, religious, single-blessedness), then you have no business remaining single.  It’s even "irresponsible" (in a manner of speaking anyway) to remain single and not get married and raise children, people with immortal souls, to know and love God.
 
Intimacy
 
So is there any good in sex? In marriage, yes! God the Giver has made conjugal union the vaulted arch into two great goods, and the mysterious emblem of an even greater good—a good in this life we cannot comprehend. That’s why we dare not uproot sex from marriage, the garden where God has planted it. Too much good is at stake to treat it lightly; too much power and danger to waste it on selfish games. From the best gifts come the worst miseries, if we are too foolish to follow the Giver’s directions.
So your goal should not be to date her long enough until you’re confident marriage won’t be hard, but to date her just long enough to discern if you’re willing to love her sacrificially, and if she’s willing to respond to that kind of love.
In 1941, Tolkien wrote a masterful letter to his son Michael, dealing with marriage and the realities of human sexuality. The letter reflects Tolkien’s Christian worldview and his deep love for his sons, and at the same time, also acknowledges the powerful dangers inherent in unbridled sexuality.
Christians must move beyond abstinence to the virtue that Scripture commends: chastity… Moreover, chastity isn’t only personal; it’s social as well. In Love & Responsibility, Pope John Paul II writes about how chastity frees "love from the utilitarian attitude" that is the defining quality of sex in the age of hooking up. The Pope writes that "the essence of chastity consists in quickness to affirm the value of the person in every situation," and that being chaste requires "a ‘transparent’ attitude to a person of the other sex."
Satan can corrupt sexuality and the flesh and turn it into something ugly. But it is, at its core, something beautiful and godly. Therefore, the flesh is spiritual and we should appreciate and cherish it under the lordship of Christ.
God’s instructions for our sexual lives serve Him by bringing Him glory when we obey them, and they also benefit us. God’s rules are not limiting prohibitions, but rather ennobling, enriching guidelines. As theologian George Weigel explains, when we view God’s directives for our sexuality this way, "the first moral question shifts from ‘What am I forbidden to do?’ to ‘How do I live a life of sexual love that conforms to my dignity as a human person?’"
 
Where did we ever get the idea that we can separate our bodies from our minds and spirits and that our bodies could do whatever they like without consequence for the rest of our being? This is why the sexual revolution has been such a dehumanizing failure, diminishing our God-given humanity in painful ways. Theologian Karl Barth expressed this well when he declared, "Coitus without coexistence is demonic." We can’t connect ourselves with someone sexually without connecting all the rest of our being.
There are a couple more interesting articles, especially on Kuya Kevin’s site.  By the way, in his site he talks about love, purity (especially this topic), wisdom and inspiration — "Basta Lovelife!"  Check it out when you have the time.
 
As I was going over all of these articles, and some more on the same thread, the idea of marriage has propped back in my head…  It’s been a very long while since I last thought of it, with all the business and distractions of work and what not.  Yeah… I want to get married… someday… somehow… in God’s time. Smile
 
Hey… ________ (Ms. Right [secret!!!]), will you marry me?  Open-mouthed  Opps, I forgot that you’re not my girlfriend yet.  [I think I need to read first the Guy’s Guide I mentioned above…  I really wish I wasn’t so gun-shy (torpe). Tongue out Wink]
 
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