Fr Makhan’s faith journey – Part I
March 9, 2019
Divine Mercy Conference next weekend
March 9, 2019

Faithfulness chat by the mechanic shop

“I don’t know what is happening, like women taking after the men? It used to be men were the ones to do that sort of thing. It rampant!”

These were the words of a stranger. We were waiting for the mechanics to finish with our cars when I asked her “What can we do about faithfulness in our society?”.

The question was asked because of the “stir” created by a picture on our BOMA-TT WhatsApp Group of an Engagement ring in an open packet that resembled that of a condom packet. Below the picture read “Safe sex: Get married and be faithful”.

One comment quickly appeared: “U know that may be the biggest challenge for some in our culture. Hope they touch on the challenges of being faithful and what needs/can be done for those who struggle in Marriage Preparation courses.”

The questions of intent to be married (what we casually call the ‘Wedding vows’) include “Will you honour each other as man and wife for the REST OF YOUR LIVES?”.

These words imply faithfulness to one’s spouse not for one week, two months or three years, but indeed for the rest of their lives together as husband and wife, however long that may be.

The Marriage Preparation courses that include the Theology of the Body (TOB) discuss faithfulness. ‘Faithful Love’ is defined as “Love that is committed. The commitment that guides all other actions. You keep your promises once you have made them, no matter how your feelings may change” (116, You: Life, Love and the Theology of the Body).

The discussion at the garage continued. The mechanic said it would be a good idea to give people practical advice on how to stay faithful.

Married love comes in phases. It begins with the ‘Corporal Phase’ or that physical attraction that lets a person know that they are interested in someone. The next phase is usually the ‘Emotional Phase’ or falling in love where the butterflies happen.

This is the phase that appeals to the sentiment itself—one feels good being in love! Have you ever heard someone say that they ‘fell out of love’ though? Everyone has their qualities and each one of us has our shortcomings.

In other words, none of us are perfect and we go into relationships with our faults. When those faults are discovered and/or not tolerated, we hear about people falling out of love.

At the ‘Is Love Forever?’ seminar BOMA-TT hosts we discuss that love is not just about ‘feelings’. We always end this segment on the ‘Phases of Love’ with the third phase: “Love is a decision of the will” (not just a feeling or attraction): Love wants what is best for the beloved in good times and bad times, in sickness and in health.

Once the faults of the beloved surface, real love is demanding and calls for the lover to love the beloved even with their faults. A humble person will know that they too have faults that their beloved has to put up with!

The Emotional Phase is what couples need to keep revisiting throughout their marriage to keep faithful to each other. That spark that couples experience can be re-ignited over and over again. This however requires the work of married love. Keeping each other in love is deliberately doing things that keep each other interested in each other.

For each couple these things vary. They may include: putting a surprise of the beloved’s favourite snack or a small gift in their lunch bag, going on inexpensive dates (in the ‘You’ programme, once a week is suggested), loving phone calls and messages. Couples can get really creative, of course, keeping in mind the varying likes and dislikes of one’s beloved.

The mechanic’s assistant wanted to add his piece also. He stated that “maturity and communication” are necessities in relationships that are sorely lacking hence the considerable amount of infidelity occurring in our society today.

This call for couples to live up to their vow requires great support nowadays in view of the numerous temptations that enter into our everyday lives. We are here to help. The Billings Ovulation Method® helps couples in their faithful love!

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