There are many words used to describe “marriage.” Words like “relationship,” “partnership,” “friendship,” “journey,” “sacrament,” and “struggle” might come to mind. All of these words are fitting to describe aspects of the reality of marriage. Yet, there is a word that sums up these words and allows for a deeper reflection, and perhaps even a reframing of thinking, on the term marriage. That word is “adventure.” How often are the mundane, ordinary aspects of life so distracting that the beauty that lies underneath the surface gets taken for granted or even forgotten about? The word “adventure” indicates something far more than those other words express. The dictionary defines an adventure as “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.” Marriage, at least in the Seibert household, could be summed up by all of those dictionary qualifications, sometimes all in the same day! Adventures bring excitement, spontaneity, and challenges that could cost the adventurer his or her life. In other words, adventures take sacrifice. Now, this sacrifice is worth it to the adventurer because there is something on the other side that is worth all the potential hazards. Because of this, each circumstance, each trial, is confronted as it comes, with the end goal in mind.
For most married couples, getting lost in the mundane challenges and routines of life is easy. It is easy to lose site of the fact that there is something more than what is encountered each day. It’s easy to forget that life is an adventure, a hazardous journey with an end goal awaiting. It’s easy to forget that everything means something, and that there is truly a point to the adventure. With the chaos of life, it’s easy to get distracted! So what is the point? Jesus’ words in the Gospel of John answer this question perfectly. Jesus prays: “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that world may believe that you sent me” (John 17: 20-21). In other words, Jesus wants everyone in union with Him as He is in union with the Trinity. If humanity is truly made in God’s image (Gen 1:27) then humanity is made in the image of unity. It is this unity where the world comes to believe in Jesus! Our destiny is union with our Lord forever, and it is only through this union, according to Jesus’ words in the Gospel of John, that the world comes to know that God exists.
God reveals Himself through unity. Where is unity found most prevalently in society? Marriage. Therefore, unity in marriage is not only for the couple who is married, but it is a gift for the world to know God. Those who are married, have a beautiful vocation in that their mission is to get their spouse to heaven. Yet, in God’s beautiful design, by trekking on this adventure of marriage, this adventure that leads to sainthood, the married couple ends up not only bringing their spouse to heaven, but brings Christ Himself to the world!
Let us celebrate this sacred gift, and honor it as a means of encountering Christ. Let us celebrate the adventure! I encourage all of you to embark on your marriage endeavors without losing sight of the end goal. May all of us who are married, in particularly men, embrace the hazards and obstacles that await us as a means of demonstrating the fullness of our love for our spouses, but more importantly, as a means of demonstrating God’s great love for us!