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As Secular Marriage Grows Increasingly Obsolete, Commiting to Catholic Dating is a Must

November 18, 2011

catholic dating and marriageA new poll shows that a lack of spiritual commitment is indeed at the heart of the decline of marriage in the U.S. Read how Catholic dating is the starting point for ensuring that your wedding day and marriage is a lasting one.

It’s rare that you see the secular, liberal media reporting on the decline of marriage, but a confluence of two new polls — highlighted in USAToday this week — was startling enough to put the marriage debate front and center in the Lifestyle section of the newspaper. USAToday writer and Christian minister Henry Brinton reports that, “Fifty years ago, about three-quarters of American adults 18 and older were married. Today, about half are. Nearly 40% of respondents to a Pew Research Center survey last year said marriage is becoming obsolete.” Pew, of course, is one of the leading polling agencies in the U.S., so their findings are indeed scientific enough to take at face value.

Brinton goes on to explain that the poll isn’t merely a blip on the radar, but rather a representation of a downward trajectory of the institution of marriage, which has seen a steady decline in the U.S. over the past 40 years. What isn’t new is the realization that the sanctity of marriage has dropped as the rise divorce has steadily increased, to the point where more than half of all U.S. marriages now end in divorce.

Elvis may be the King of Rock & Roll, but he isn't the best choice for a wedding officiant.

What Brinton suggests that is new, however, is that another poll, conducted by TheKnot, indicates that there is a direct correlation between the sharp decline in the importance of marriage in contemporary U.S. culture and the means by which people conduct their wedding ceremonies. Briinton explains that “TheKnot users who married last year chose a family member or friend to officiate at their ceremony. Since many Americans are not currently part of a religious congregation, it’s not surprising that acquaintances are filling in the gaps. This certainly fits my experience over 25 years in the ministry.”

It rings true that, as less and less people take the practice of their faith seriously, institutions that are predicated on faith and religious convictions, such as marriage, baptism, and the other sacraments — are not taken seriously, either, in spite of the fact that polls like these are beginning to bear out the potentially disastrous consequences of failing to bring God into one’s wedding vows and married life. Even within the Catholic Church, it is safe to say that you have most likely attended a wedding wherein the sanctity of the wedding mass and vows seemed to take a back seat to photo ops, decorations, seating arrangements, and wedding cake.

It isn’t to say that all weddings that are appropriately conducted within the tenets of the Catholic faith are 100% destined to lead to successful marriages, and all “casual weddings” are doomed to fail — only God knows what’s truly in hearts of people who marry, and why they are getting married. But one thing is for sure: two people in love who have talked over their faith and how they see the role of God and the Church in their wedding day and marriage are significantly more likely to remain together, bound not by the trappings of a fancy wedding or the whims of this temporal, secular world, but rather based on the belief that God has brought the both of them together in a sacred union.

Catholic Dating: The Key To Making Your Wedding Day — and Marriage — Count

Even if you yourself are committed to a wedding and marriage that is faith-focused, that doesn’t ensure that your future wedding day or marriage will turn out to be reflective of you own wishes for a faith-filled union. If you are a single devout Catholic, then Catholic dating is essential to ensuring that the people whom you date and may quite possibly marry have the same beliefs as you do when it comes to weddings and marriages.
Meeting Catholic singles through your parish, a Catholic dating website, or any other Catholic ministry should be the first step in determining who you are going to date in the first place. While it may be fun (and somewhat cliche) to meet other singles in secular venues, you run the risk of building the foundation of a long-term relationship — or even a marriage — without getting to the heart of the matter with your boyfriend or girlfriend when it comes to what a wedding should be all about.
Some Catholic singles are reluctant to broach the subject of marriage early on in a new relationship, for fear that talking about marriage early on might scare the other person away from dating. For a devout Catholic, however, that line of thinking is somewhat misguided: if you truly believe that God will send you the right person to marry and spend the rest of your life with, then entering into a discussion about marriage early on in dating is the perfect way to show your trust in God as the “ultimate matchmaker” and accept that you’re likely to weed out people early on who would not have been a good match for you from a spiritual perspective.
And this is just as true for young Catholic singles as it is for middle-aged Catholics as well.
Even devout Catholics in their 20s may not even be thinking of marriage at that stage of their lives. However, because one’s 20s are the time when everyone begins to discern their vocations in life — not only in the professional world, but in the personal world as well — being open to marriage is key. After all, many people who get married will tell you that they never were looking to do so when they first met their spouse.
When you read about the horror stories surrounding the institution of marriage in the U.S. and Europe, it’s easy to convince yourself that getting married is fraught with too many dangers to even bother. That, however, is a dangerous fear that we as Catholics should not give into. we must always realize that God has a plan for us, and that marriage may be that plan. In fact, God has moved more people to be married to one another since the dawn of civilization than any other vocation — it’s how the world continues to turn. Keep your heart open to the prospect of meeting someone who shares your Catholic values.
And keep your eyes open by dating Catholics and getting to the heart of the matter about weddings and marriage sooner rather than later.
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One Comment leave one →
  1. Patty permalink
    June 11, 2014 5:52 pm

    This is true. Having common values is so important especially for raising children. We need to invite the Holy Trinity and the Holy Family into marriage. Remember what Christ said without Me you can do nothing. Remember to ask the Holy Spirit for discernment is this the right person for me is this what you want of me? Don’t rush things but also don’t wait forever you can’t date forever. There comes a time to make a commitment. Have Faith and as John Paul II said do not be afraid. Don’t forget to forgive in any relationship there needs to be forgiveness. the only perfection that exist is in Christ.

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