A covenant of love: Why children should witness the sacrament of marriage

By Ana Borden, NOLA Catholic Parenting

During the days prior to my sister’s and brother-in-law’s wedding, our children had many questions about the sacrament of marriage, and, of course, about their roles as ring bearers and flower girls. We were very happy to see their excitement and, most importantly, to see them witness their stunning aunt and her groom exchange vows.

On that beautiful New Orleans fall Saturday morning, surrounded by family and the blessings God has given us, our children observed first hand a couple committing themselves to the covenant of life and love, in union with God and his plan. Their participation in the ceremony fueled their questions about the vocation of marriage and their presence was a testament of the beauty of ours.

In today’s society, where movies and the media paint an unrealistic perspective of perfect romantic love, disregard commitment, celebrate the deterioration of family life and violate the sanctity of life, it is even more important that we support and defend the sacrament of matrimony. Instead of fueling the perspective that marriage should be feared, let’s support and encourage couples to seek marriage and celebrate a lifelong commitment of faithful love that will propel their spouse to eternal life in heaven.

As children are a true blessing of married life, we should include them as witnesses in the ceremony, not only as an example of God’s work in the world but as a reminder to others to experience through their eyes the joy, excitement and pureness of the covenant of marriage to strengthen their own marriages and encourage the union of other couples. Married couples, let your children witness daily what marriage should be – nourishing and enriching each other’s lives with words and actions that exemplify commitment, compromise, forgiveness, daily sacrifice, patience, honesty and trust all wrapped around God’s loving grace.

Let us pray as a community to provide strength, guidance, encouragement and grace to today’s couples, and in the generations to come, to see all the goodness God has to offer and to seek the vocation of marriage.

Ana Batista Borden is a native New Orleanian, wife, mother, architect and Roman Catholic. She and husband Brad juggle their own businesses while finding balance navigating life with little ones in the Catholic faith and as active parishioners at their church. Please send comments to nolacatholicparenting@clarionherald.org. Visit our three-times-a-week blog and new podcast every other week at www.nolacatholicparenting.org or clarionherald.org. 

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