He Made them Male and Female

Marriage and Sexuality for Engaged and Married Couples
by Institute of the Incarnate Wor | Source: IVE Press
Human, matrimonial love is one of the most wonderful gifts emerging from the hands of God. It is the union of a man and a woman in order to achieve sanctity in this life and in the next. Such was God’s plan at the beginning of the world, as Christ reminds us: From the beginning the Creator made them male and female…and the two shall become one flesh…what God has joined together, no human being must separate (Mt 19:4-6).

Husbands and wives marry to save each other and to fulfill the ultimate goal of all men and women. For she was set apart for you before the world existed. You will save her, and she will go with you. And…you will have children by her (Tb 6:18), the Angel Raphael says to Tobiah, referring to his future wife Sarah. Thus, Sarah’s father, in giving her away to marriage, counsels Tobiah: Take her according to the law. According to the decree written in the Book of Moses she is your wife. Take her and bring her back safely to your father. And may the God of heaven grant both of you peace and prosperity (Tb 7:12). This is why the young married couple, in accordance with such a high ideal of matrimonial love, prays to God on their wedding night, as we read in the biblical text:

Tobiah arose from bed and said to his wife, My love, get up. Let us pray and beg our Lord to have mercy on us and to grant us deliverance. She got up, and they started to pray and beg that deliverance might be theirs. He began with these words: Blessed are you, O God of our fathers; praised be your name forever and ever. Let the heavens and all your creation praise you forever. You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve to be his help and support; and from these two the human race descended. You said, It is not good for the man to be alone; let us make him a partner like himself. Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose. Call down your mercy on me and on her, and allow us to live together to a happy old age. They said together, Amen, amen. (Tb 8:4-8)

This magnificent portrayal of love and marriage must shine today more than ever in all marriages crowned by the Christian sacrament. Most especially, it must shine in this time filled with doubts and uncertainties for married and engaged couples, for parents and their children, for brothers and sisters.

Spouses and families—marriages—are being called to give a unique testimony before a world that speaks about love but does not believe in love and has forgotten how to love. Today, married couples must remind the world of Christ’s love towards the Church and towards each man and woman who walk in the troubled times of our society.

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