BOMA-TT created a marriage quiz. In our August 11 column we presented the first seven questions and answers. Here are six more of the 20 questions and answers.
8 It is okay to try to change your spouse—False: Trying to change your spouse, or making drastic changes for your spouse could be a sign of abuse1. You can’t change anyone; they must change themselves. You can influence change by good example or talking to them, but you cannot ‘change them’. When two persons try to search for the truth of the matter together, that search and the findings could change the lives of each one of them.
9 Giving in to your spouse during arguments is not a good way to resolve conflicts—True: It is very important to openly discuss problems, so fair solutions agreeable to both persons can be created1. This involves active listening and being able to express negative thoughts in a constructive way using assertive communication not aggressive communication (name-calling, rolling eyes, silent treatment, blaming, physical abuse, emotional abuse). The ‘Joy-Filled Marriage’ preparation programme proposes five rules for resolving conflict including Commitment (starting every discussion calmly and lovingly), Balance and Self-Restraint (being aware of one’s own emotions), Fairness and Charity (assume positive intentions, not the worse ones), Good Discernment (listen closely, acknowledge feelings and discern the ‘real’ issue), Forgive in Love (genuinely forgive one another then find solutions that bring you both together).
10 There are three persons in a marriage—True: Husband, wife and God. Think of marriage as a triangle with God at the top and the couple at the base. The couple is united with God at the top bringing them together. Prayer is essential in keeping a married couple together. Couples should pray for each other’s well-being and for God to bless their spouse and children. The Church offers “guidance and counselling in areas related to growth in love, overcoming conflict and raising children. Many are touched by the power of grace experienced in sacramental Reconciliation (Confession) and in the Eucharist (Holy Mass), a grace that helps them face the challenges of marriage and the family”2.
11 Marriage to one person (monogamy) is impossible—False: Many envision themselves married to the same person for a lifetime and that seems challenging to them. But in fact, your spouse goes through so many changes over the course of a lifetime as he/she grows and matures and gets older. If we learn to embrace these changes and journey with each other, rather than see these stages as threats, we can see them as opportunities to encounter the other in a new light at every step of the journey.
12 Couples who cannot have children have been cursed by God—False: God’s plan for marriage is that it is “for the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring”3. However, “marriage was not instituted solely for the procreation of children but also that mutual love might properly be expressed, that it should grow and mature”4. It is due to the “all-encompassing” love between a husband and wife that this love is “also exclusive, faithful and open to new life”4. Couples who cannot have children should give ‘fruit’ to their love in other ways (adoption, charity, hospitality and sacrifice).
13 A child is a gift from God – True: “Children are the supreme gift of marriage”5. In effect, bearing a child is a ‘fruit’ of their love. Bearing a child is not a ‘right’ but a ‘gift’. A child deserves to be born out of the love of the father and mother and “not by any other means, for he or she is not something owed to one, but a gift”6. “One of the most precious and beautiful challenges in life is the privilege of being a parent. Delicate little human lives are placed in our hands to be moulded, guided and formed, and to have their inherent gifts, talents and potentialities liberated and actualised”7.
The final questions
1 University of Toronto’s Assault Programme/Counselling & Psychological Services – Healthy Relationship Quiz
2 Amoris Laetitia, #38
3 Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1601
4 Amoris Laetitia, #125
5 Gaudium et Spes, #50
6 Amoris Laetitia, #81
7 Children Are Gift
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