By Andrew & Terri Lyke (www.holyspiritinteractive.net)
There is a difference between getting married and becoming married.
Getting married is a pivotal event for a couple. It is the beginning of a new life, the culmination of a budding relationship. It is a profound profession that publicly reveals love that is meant to last forever. Getting married is an achievement, an arrival, and a threshold to a promise.
In our modern culture, many couples never get beyond that threshold experience. All it took to get to that moment—the initial attraction, courting, getting serious, the proposal, the wedding—is the price one pays for "getting married."
However, getting married is only one piece of the pie. It’s not even the beginning; it’s only a stop along the way.
Becoming married is another proposition. Herbert Anderson and Robert Cotton Fite, in their book, Becoming Married, say, "We may fall in love or into marriage but we do not fall into becoming married. That requires self-conscious intent."
In some ways it starts long before a couple even know each other. Perceptions of marriage that are shaped by the marriages around them, from birth to the present, influence that "becoming." Cultural influences, ethnic, regional, generational, and from their families of origin, inform (or misinform) them about marriage.
Becoming married also includes discerning the call from within to discover one’s vocation in life. It’s discerning a life of faithful commitment. This is very important. Such discernment may lead to consecrated life in the Church.
It may lead to a particular profession. It may lead to a life of celibacy. Whatever it leads to, prayerful discernment about one’s vocation — responding to God’s call — leads to a life with passion and meaning.
Marriages that are born of this kind of discernment are most promising because they are shaped by faith.