We have reflected on the fundamentals of the marriage contract between a man and a woman and their mutual consent. to share their lives with each other and only with each other.
This marriage contract or covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament. (1601) “It is by following Christ , renouncing themselves, and taking up their crosses that spouses will be able to ‘receive’ the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ.” (1615). As a sacrament, the spouses receive special graces for the living of their marriage contract.
It will not be easy to maintain the relationship of companionship and friendship that is required for the complete giving of self to one’s spouse all day and every day. An ancient wise man gave this directive: “To think the same and to wish the same makes for a perfect friendship.”
It is that kind of relationship needed for marriage.
To achieve such rapport between spouses requires constant agreement between the spouses on what should be done lest there be discord and conflict. In other words, being alert to the desire of the spouse as the course of action or decision. The above rule of what makes for a perfect friendship applies in this and similar situations.
There comes to mind the remark of an elderly man on the occasion of his 60th wedding anniversary: “Married for 60 years and never had a serious argument or words of anger.” No doubt the graces of the Sacrament of Marriage came to their help in time of potential discord.
“St. John Chrysostonm suggests that young husbands should say to their wives: I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us… I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you.”.(2365).