It Is Rocket Science
Whenever something is simple, straight forward and obvious we like to say, "it's not rocket science." But the subject of this brief post, marriage, is rocket science.
Marriage is not easy. Maybe that's why people avoid it for as long as they can. I have known couples that lived together for more than 20 years before making the commitment. But marriage is God's normal plan for us when we become adults. Not only because of the blessings of social stability marriage provides. But because it is an image of the relationship that exists between Christ, and his baptismally-cleansed Bride the church. You are that Bride.
Marriage is rocket science. To succeed in it one must have the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, and the love of Christ.
In practical terms people should think of marriage as they would of their ideal and favored career. When a person enters the vocation they trained for and sought after, they are happy and proud to have finally made it. They are filled with happiness. But every career, even the best, even the most glorious, has its moments! There are days when a person questions their decision, others when they are ready to walk away, and still others when they're ready to run.
But if we would apply the skills we exert at getting along in the world, to getting along in the home, we'd be much better off. In your career sometimes you have to be the consummate professional. A man with a plan. Other times you have to be a negotiator, mediator, salesman, PR person, HR person, CIO, CFO, janitor, delivery boy, or maker of the coffee. If you exert such flexibility at work to manage your career, why not at home to manage something of far greater worth?
Why is marriage rocket science? Not necessarily because we lack the knowledge, but because we lack the power to do what is right. It's not easy to put self aside, sacrifice, serve, give in, compromise, be humble or eat crow. So where do we get the power to do all those things?
In baptism we are united to Christ and as St. Paul writes, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13). And so don't despair, because not only does our power come from the Lord, but so does our pardon for as often as we fail. No, don't despair! Instead come to the altar, which is the mercy seat of God, to obtain the necessary patience, wisdom and mercy needed to stay the course. "Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)