We hear of wealthy people getting married and before they do, they contract a pre-nuptial agreement. I guess you could call it planning. They are starting their married life together knowing at some point the marriage is going to end. So, they need to protect themselves and their assets. Contract: a formal agreement of marriage between two or more parties for the doing or not doing of something specified. I assume that there must be some element of love.
Would you be surprised to know that in the Catholic Church, part of marriage preparation, is to also complete a Pre-nuptial Questionnaire? Having been married decades ago, I really do not remember completing one of these. I think it very important that we have this now.
Instead of a plan on how to end the marriage, this is a series of questions planning to keep a marriage together for life. Here are the questions:
- Are you giving your consent freely?
- Are you being forced by any person or circumstance to enter this marriage?
- Are you attaching any conditions to your marriage consent?
These three questions would negate any idea of this as being a contract marriage as defined above. Next, we ask questions indicating that in the Church marriage is a sacrament, a covenant by nature that is permanent and indissoluble and is ordered to the good of the spouses.
- Do you agree to enter a marriage that is for life?
- Do you agree to give your spouse the right to a conjugal life and the right to have children?
- Do you agree to be faithful to your spouse for life?
These questions indicate that you are willing to give yourself as a gift to your spouse. And as a gift, you are willing to do whatever is necessary to make sure your spouse gets to heaven. Anything less than this degrades the covenant relationship of marriage. This is why Jesus tells us what God has joined together man cannot divide.
What have you done for your spouse today?
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.