“It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a suitable partner for him.”
Notice the word, “partner,” The man (Adam) and the woman (Eve) are equal in God’s plan. The woman is not to be considered as the man’s ‘slave,’ ‘property,’ or as inferior to the man. Tragically, this is not the view of men in the Middle East and of some men in our own country.
For ancient people, marriage was primarily an arrangement between families, without much emotional attachment (at least in the beginning) between husband and wife. Dissolving a marriage meant the untangling of family alliances. In Judaism, only a husband could initiate divorce. In Jesus’ response to the Pharisees’ question, in the Gospel, he says the possibility of initiating divorce goes both ways. Though, of course, a fractured marriage is not what anyone wants.
There is no perfect marriage because there are no perfect human beings. “No marriage is truly made in heaven. It has to be made, with the help of God, by the couple.” I remember when I was struggling with some of the imperfections of my own parents (who had a good marriage), a statement made by a counselor in the movie, “David and Lisa,” hit me soundly: “Remember, your parents have a right to be imperfect.”
As do I. As do you.
One key to deepening any life-commitment is to learn from one’s mistakes. My friend, “David”, a Canadian of the Anglican faith shared with me that when his marriage broke up, he had
to attend a parish program for a year designed to help him see in what ways he – intentionally or not – contributed to the break-up. He could not re-marry until he had completed the program.
Let us pray.
We ask You, Lord,
in the abundance of Your kindness,
to help us to respect one another,
to presume good will,
to avoid rash judgement,
and regardless of the situation
to act with kindness
Max Oliva, S.J.
October 3, 2021