Thanks to everyone who came yesterday for the session. It was a good session with Mrs Itsueli, so good that she would be back again. The theme of ‘Theology of the Body’ will be one we will continue discussing when Mrs Itsueli is available, as it seems to be both popular and important to us. The summary of the session is below along with the questions we’ve collated for the next session with Mrs Itsueli.
What is a marriage encounter? It is a positive and personal experience offering married couples an opportunity to learn a technique of loving communication that they can use for the rest of their lives. Human beings are body, spirit and soul and as couples we only see one part of that (the body). A marriage encounter teaches self-disclosure to each other.
We discussed Marriage and its purpose:
- Marriage is complex. Puberty is the biological clock that indicates your body is ready for marriage however, not necessarily the other parts of your being.
- Complex issues we discussed such as – the honeymoon period, the dangers of why young men don’t marry early (ideal marriage age 24 – 27), the shift from doing Gods will to making money, chastity and virginity.
- Marriage is a key to changing the world. If you think a couple can’t change the world look at Adam and Eve. Hence, Jesus lifted natural marriage to a sacrament, as it’s a source of Gods own grace.
We discussed doing the work of your hands:
- Genesis 1: 26-27, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over allthe earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
- God created the earth and created man to take care of the earth, which means we were created with the internal purpose, ability and individual talents to perform that task. However, education shifted the focus from taking care of the earth to growing financially, hence, why men marry late as the focus becomes financial growth to attain the things of the world eg. House, car etc. Therefore man has been unable to nurture his God given talents.
- Young men need to ask questions such as “What are my God given talents?” They need to start early to nuture them and through those talents, their lives have true purpose and meaning through which God blesses every step of the way (including marriage).
We discussed contentment being the path to greatness:
- Money is man made so it shouldn’t be the focus. She discussed the difference between the holy ambience of the 15th Century and the many saints it produced versus society today, where people constantly negotiate with the devil. For example, many women became saints by choosing the path of death to protect their virginity however, these days’ women offer it freely or have price tag for it. The point was made that we cannot do evil to hope for good to come from it e.g. Bribe now so that you get money to give the poor. This is still negotiating with the devil. The end doesn’t justify the means.
- Whatever you do, do it well. God respects the laws of nature and business. E.g: If it takes 3 years to break even why do you expect magic to happen in 6 months? Be diligent, disciplined, follow due process and God would bless and guide every step along the way.
- We need to deliberate step down, i.e live within our means, be detached from material things and not live by what society says its success but what Gods says is success. How many cars can you drive at once? How many bags does a lady need? Calculate and write down what you need during your time of developing your talents by living according to your means and not giving in to the many wants of life (on social media Instagram etc).
We discussed many more topics around these main themes. She asked we google Chistopher West’ interpretation of the Theology of the body and she promised to share some more material with us.
Hope to see you all next weekend and have a blessed week!
PS: Please feel free to post questions you have in the comment section or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions for next session:
- With regards to marriage, sex and conception: why is birth control wrong? Is sex solely for the purpose of procreation or for pleasure within the context of marriage? One can argue that it is worse to bring 10 children into the world when you know you cannot afford to take care of them.
- What does God want in a relationship?
- How should couples communicate in times of disagreement? But not just disagreement. More realigning the other to God’s will. Where does the role of the spouse stop in the act of conversion and the role of the Holy Spirit begin and vice versa?
- Catholic/non-catholic relationships. It seems there are not that many young Catholics around. I am wondering if it is wrong to date non-Catholics because they may not share the same beliefs and I may begin to doubt my own faith… also if the relationship ends in marriage will it cause issues in terms of how to raise children? I am also worried about the other end of the spectrum, i.e. being drawn to people just because they are Catholic (regardless of compatibility in personalities and goals). What are your thoughts on this issue?
- I am finding it difficult to reconcile the Church’s teaching on submission in marriage (having been raised as a strong-willed, independent woman with strong views on many topics)… trying to understand how best to still be submissive without losing my true self and passion for life. Do you have any advice on this topic?
- Also faced with finding a balance between the challenge of working similar hours to a man, facing the same amount of traffic particularly in Lagos, and then being giving enough in terms of home duties such as cooking and cleaning (I understand that these are important ways to show love and support to a husband). Do you have any advice on this topic, particularly whether you would recommend training oneself to fit this model?
- The difference between dating and courting, questions to ask during the course of dating/courting. Quality to look for in a man/woman one plans to marry. What is the right way to date/court i.e. how do you avoid sin during dating.
- In a situation when a woman earns more than the man, how does she balance that in a relationship and more importantly during marriage?
- What is the best way to pass your point across especially in times of disagreement when you feel strongly about something?
- What is the best way to ensure you keep lines of communication open during dating and more importantly in marriage.