Marriage is one of the best schools on earth

By EDMUND ADAMUSDirector, Office of Marriage and Family Life – Diocese of Westminster

You may or may not have noticed that this has been Marriage Week. And the internet has been awash with a plethora of ideas to boost one’s marriage and the marriages of others. Bravo to the US Bishops in particular for their innovative “What have you done for your marriage?” quiz and other digital ideas.

Here in Westminster, we continue apace with inspiring the young to aspire to lifelong marriage with the groundbreaking “Explore” workshop bringing volunteer married couples into our high schools/colleges to dialogue with spouses. Feedback from the students is off the charts in positivity. Teachers love it as it helps them with RSE (relationships and sex education) aims. Couples love it because it’s automatic enrichment. Win win all round.

We’ve visited over a dozen schools so far and worked with well over 1,000 youngsters. There’s more to do, so please consider volunteering either as a couple or as a facilitator. It’s great fun and rewarding work.

Meanwhile here’s a thought to share with young people… Marriage is the only school where you get the certificate before you start. It’s also a school where you will never graduate. It’s a school without a break or a free period. It’s a school where no one is allowed to drop out. It’s a school you will have to attend every day of your life. It’s a school where there is no sick leave or holidays. It’s a school founded by God:

  1. On the foundation of love.
  2. The walls are made out of trust.
  3. The door made out of acceptance.
  4. The windows made out of understanding
  5. The furniture made out of blessings
  6. The roof made out of faith.

Be reminded that you are just a student not the principal. God is the only Principal. Even in times of storms, don’t be unwise and run outside. Keep in mind that this school is the safest place to be. Never go to sleep before completing your assignments for the day. Communicate – with your classmate and with the Principal. If you find something in your classmate (spouse) that you do not appreciate, remember your classmate is also just a student not a graduate. God is not finished with him/her yet. So take it as a challenge and work on it together.

Do not forget to study the Holy Book (the main textbook of this school). Start each day with a sacred assembly and end it the same way. Sometimes you will feel like not attending classes, yet you have to. When tempted to quit, find courage and continue. Some tests and exams may be tough – but remember, the Principal knows how much you can bear and yet it’s a school better than any other.

It’s one of the best schools on earth; joy, peace and happiness accompany each lesson of the day. Different subjects are offered in this school, yet love is the major subject. After all the years of theorizing about it, now you have a chance to practice it. To be loved is a good thing, but to love is the greatest privilege of them all. Marriage is a place of love, so love your spouse.

This post was originally published in the Diocese of Westminster’s Office of Marriage and Family Life newsletter, as part of Edmund’s Friday FAST (Family Actions, Spirituality Thoughts).