“The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC1603)

Marriage is a sacred, life-long interpersonal promise (covenant) made between a man and a woman.  It is directed toward the good of the couple and the procreation and education of their children.

The gift of marriage is a sign of God’s love for us, raised by Christ to become a sacrament – a physical sign of a spiritual reality.  

Like God’s love, marriage is a full and unreserved gift, freely given, faithfully lived, and open to the fruitfulness of new life.  Because the bond of marriage is an image of God’s love, a love which is never ending, it is a bond that cannot be broken.

All vocations are an invitation to discipleship, to take up our cross and follow Christ. On the cross Christ showed us that love seeks to give even when it hurts.

Like all vocations, Christian marriage is not an easy way of life, rather, it is a long path toward sanctification. 

In married life we are called to love like Christ; selflessly, focused on the good of others and sacrificially. It is a love that has no time for selfishness, making unreasonable demands on others and does not expect others to indulge our bad habits.

It should be all of things 1 Corinthians 13 says about love in general: patient and kind, not jealous or boastful, not arrogant or rude, not insisting on its own way, not irritable or resentful, bearing all things, enduring all things (1 Cor 13:4-7).

That is the lifetime program of Christian love and the daily itinerary of married love, where opportunities to practice these qualities is never lacking.