As a priest I have assisted quite a few young men and women in preparation for Marriage, that Holy Day where they exchange their vows and God binds them together so that, “the two become one flesh.” Reflecting upon these experiences, if I could offer one word of advice to young couples today it would be this: Hurry up and get married already!
Is it possible for a couple to rush into marriage? Sure, and I don’t mean to encourage that. But the trend seems to be the opposite, to wait really long, which isn’t good either. And I must say that I’ve been shocked by some of the reasons why couples put off their marriage, sometimes for years. In some ways, it would seem like wisdom to wait until you’re finished with school, wait until you have saved up lots of money, and to wait until you’ve lived together for a while to see if you’re ready for the real thing. It would seem like wisdom and I can understand why young people today do this, it’s just that I’ve found that it often does more damage than good. There are stages in a dating relationship and to purposely stall the relationship at any given point could do great damage and even wreck what could have been a strong marriage.
Consider this, if you’ve gotten to know this person in a reasonable amount of time, if you’ve prayed about it, and if there is a strong desire inside of you to spend the rest of your life with this person, then it’s probably time to consider Marriage. At the same time, if these things don’t check out, and you’ve been in this relationship for a while, perhaps this isn’t the person for you, and for both of your sakes, it’s time to move on.
For those who are serious and those who one day want to be, I recommend checking out this video as a first step towards Marriage. It explains how the preparation for Marriage works in the Catholic Church, including these common questions:
- Why do we have to have a Catholic Wedding?
- Why does it take so long to get married in the Church?
- Why does the Church insist we have children?