MANILA, June 29, 2012—Keeping family traditions and treating one’s family as a blessing are vital to a successful marriage, said a wife and a mother when asked about the various joys and challenges that married couples experience in contemporary times.
“Everyday with the family is a blessing. Our kids are the biggest blessing, of course, because they are the fruits of our union and love for each other,” said Vania Padilla-Edralin of Couples for Christ – Foundation for Family and Life (CFC-FFL).
“Having family traditions like having dinner as a family, praying together and having quality time with kids are great things to have and will certainly fill everyone’s love tank.”
With the advent of wedding preparation services in recent years, attention to marriage preparation has been overlooked in many cases. The result for numerous couples has been a lack of understanding of the nature and ends of marriage, and inadvertently a waning conviction of marriage as a lifelong commitment.
Accepting early on that a happy marriage requires both faith in God and personal effort is crucial, Edralin pointed out.
“There is no way you can fully prepare for marriage. It is the decision to love someone unconditionally, knowing that by being together you bring out the best in each other and put God at the center of your relationship. The rest, it’s just a day to day learning experience,” she said.
“You can never foresee what your future life will be with this person; you just have to experience it a day at a time. It’s how you face the challenges and how you deal with the good times and the bad that make it work.”
The mother of three tots admitted an awareness early on that tough times were part of every marriage and had no expectations of married life that would be smooth-sailing all the way.
“When [my husband and I] were still BF-GF we would fight or disagree, so what more when we would be living together and being with each other 24/7? I knew that marriage was definitely not a bed of roses, but something that we needed to work at, to be better persons for each other,” she explained.
Edralin pointed out that the support of the State in strengthening the family and protecting marriage would matter a lot, since these are, after all, the basic “building blocks” of any society.
Rather than thinking of providing measures for an “easy way out” should the marriage not go as planned, she suggested more focus be given to marriage preparation – “like educating couples before getting married on discerning well before saying ‘I do’ to a lifelong commitment.”
Developing “seminars or marriage enrichment sessions to help couples through common challenges in marriage” would also be worthy pursuits, she added. “If couples were properly guided before and during marriage, there wouldn’t be a need to push for divorce.”
Asked whether she considers divorce as something we as a people would want for the Philippines, she replied, “Definitely not. Having divorce would be insulting the sacrament of matrimony. It’s like saying, one day ‘I love and commit to you’ and the next day ‘You annoy me, I don’t love you anymore,’” she explained.
“It makes love shallow and allows people to be self-centered enough to only think about themselves.” (CBCP for Life)