Marriage Promise: No Contingency

by | Apr 24, 2024 | Family Life, Marriage, Marriage Prep, Prayer, Society

Marriage Consent Contains Hefty Promises- and they come with no contingency. 

There is no contingency to the words: “I promise to love, honor, and cherish you all the days of my life.” Every married person has said it. Each fiancé has pondered it. Unfortunately, so few people have meant it. We promise a lot when we marry someone. Loving, honoring, cherishing for richer or poorer, better or worse, all the days of our lives adds up. Just 3 years and 2 kids into marriage, I can attest it’s not always easy. Life isn’t easy, relationships aren’t easy, so why would marriage be different?

We make our promises with no contingency. 

The thing about marriage consent is: they come with no contingency. There’s no line in consent that says- as long as you do the same. Nothing says- unless something bad happens, or unless you start mistreating me. Never do we say we will live our lives together as long as our spouse does the same. The, sometimes unfortunate, reality is that our vows are individual. Nothing we promise is contingent on the other person.

I heard a sobering thought on a podcast not too long ago. If you have a valid marriage, then you are bound for life. Your spouse could wake up one morning and leave you forever, and you will still be married. If all the requirements were met and you performed your wedding consent properly, you are married no matter what the other person does.

Choose who you married. Marry who you choose. 

Many people get married thinking their spouse will change. They think the annoying habit will break, the fights will improve, the maturity will set in. Ideally, we should all keep growing as individuals when we get married. But we cannot expect our spouse to change. There is nothing fair, or wise, about marrying someone hoping they will change themselves. Especially as Catholics with the responsibility to be open to life, we must marry with the expectation of parenthood. We’re not just marrying husbands and wives- we’re also marrying fathers and mothers.

If we’re married and new problems arise, we have to choose who we married. We have to choose our spouse over and over again every day, every week, every year. Before we’re married, we need to assess if we can live with our problems forever. Even the hardest pills to swallow like addiction struggles and mental health. Everything about our spouse needs to be something we can live with forever. If we can’t handle the issues in dating for the rest of our lives, we should not get married. We have to wisely marry who we choose, the choose who we married.

Marriage comes with no contingency. It’s a covenant between man and woman under God. If we can’t accept that, we should not get married.

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Michelle C. Martin

Michelle graduated from Texas Tech University with her husband, Joshua, in May 2021 and married him in June on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She has a degree in Communication Studies and has loved growing in knowledge of healthy and authentic relationships during her time in college and adulthood. Michelle and Joshua currently reside in Lubbock, TX where he works as an architect and she loves life as a stay-at-home wife and mother to their children, Peter and Cecilia.

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