For Christians, a sign of the presence of God is the presence of love.
We can recognise the face of God and work of God when we witness and experience love in action, when we spend time with the other, when we recognise the good in the other, when we treat the other with kindness and thoughtfulness, when we become aware of the power of love to overcome huge tragedies and to respond to the mundane, everyday challenges of relationship.
We are made in the image of God and this love we show is reflecting His love in our marriages, giving hope in its transforming power in us.
‘sacrament’ vs ‘Sacrament’ - the presence of love
A Sacrament is a sign of the presence of the life of God.
Capital ‘S’, Sacrament, is what a couple bestows on each other during their wedding ceremony with the witnessing of the priest and the community present.
We have a rare opportunity to notice and celebrate love and God in a very public way at the wedding. In the wedding ceremony and in the conferring of the Sacrament of marriage on each other is a chance to pay attention to, say yes to and celebrate the experience of love and God in our lives.
Lower case ‘s’, sacrament, is the day to day living out of it and experiencing it in the lived marriage relationship.
To make love and God truly present in our marriage we need to attend to it, say yes to it, and celebrate it on a daily basis. We are committing to the daily living of that loving.
We already do many things that make the daily living of the loving truly present, such as:
- Being thoughtful (bringing in the washing, making a cup of tea)
- Having fun together and delighting in each other
- Recognising / looking for the good in my partner
- Being willing to forgive and asking for forgiveness
- Trying to be the best person I can be in the marriage
- Speaking respectfully to and about my partner
- Thinking respectfully about my partner
“When I realise that my marriage is one of the most powerful ways that my husband can come to and continue to believe that he is truly loved and loveable in the sight of God is through his experience of my love, then I am even more determined to make that love tangible, real, life giving. This means that I cannot take him for granted, I cannot belittle him, I cannot fail to forgive him and to ask for forgiveness, I cannot refuse to respect his dreams. The task is bigger than me, but I am not alone in it.”
- A long married woman*.
“When I see you playing with the children, I see God in you. When you fill the dishwasher after a hard day at work, I see God in you. When you smile and encourage me when I am feeling overwrought, I see God in you.”
- A more recently married woman*.
When we take hold of the power we have in our loving, when we appreciate its Source, we take our place in the world as an example of faith and hope and love.
Mary | Relationship Educator
Try this simple bonding activity with your partner to learn about each other’s dreams and aspirations:
*At CatholicCare, we respect everyone who comes to us for help and support to strengthen relationships. So while the stories and quotes we share are true, client names have not been shared to protect their privacy. Thank you for your understanding.