Marriage and the "sheepgate" - John 10:1


#1

Okay, I know the direct application of this verse is Jesus basically reiterating that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the "sheepgate" and false prophets are the "thieves and marauders" He speaks of.

But there has been another way I have applied this verse in my own mind, namely regarding those who enter into non-marital unions (whether straight cohabitation, divorced and remarried without annulments*, or homosexual relationships), then turn around and want the rights of a married couple who did things the right way.

It seems these days the people who "if it feels good do it," who believe "better to ask forgiveness than permission" (and don't really ask forgiveness either, but just expect everyone else to give their blessing, are spitting in the eyes of the people who are trying to follow God's law. They want to join the club but they refuse to pay the dues for membership.

I'm sorry, but I've been celibate for decades rather than violate God's laws, and yet these "thieves and marauders" want the benefits of two incomes and social and religious recognition by virtue of some sort of "squatters' rights" approach to marriage.

I believe in mercy for those who recognize they've made mistakes - like a couple invalidly married who are trying to pursue an annulment or something - but I do get tired of people who just grab what they think they're entitled to. It cheapens the sacrifice that those of us who live chastely make. At least in the eyes of the world it does.

I guess we will get our reward in the Kingdom of Heaven, if we can try not to be angry. Seriously, I really do struggle with this. It's like being the older sister if the Prodigal Son parable were about two girls, and my younger sister not only went off and lived the life of a drunken sl** but is planning to continue and our mom throws her a big party.

*at least if they have been taught the Catholic way and know what they're doing, or if they have had so many multiple marriages it's ridiculously obvious they aren't taking marriage seriously enough or they have "issues."


#2

Do you consider celibacy a burden or as a freedom? Jesus said he who sins is a slave to sin. But he whom the Son sets free is free indeed. In our sex crazy culture it might seem like a burden to those who are enslaved to it, but it can be a freedom from the world and it's traps. Jesus said happy are those who are poor in spirit.


#3

[quote="fisherman_carl, post:2, topic:323810"]
Do you consider celibacy a burden or as a freedom? Jesus said he who sins is a slave to sin. But he whom the Son sets free is free indeed. In our sex crazy culture it might seem like a burden to those who are enslaved to it, but it can be a freedom from the world and it's traps. Jesus said happy are those who are poor in spirit.

[/quote]

I do actually see it as a freedom - except that I sometimes wonder if it would've been easier to find men to date and maybe one to marry if I weren't so hyper-aware of the need to not give a guy a false impression that I'm willing to sleep with him. That's so assumed - or it was during my years when I was still capable of bearing children and would've liked to have had a family. I saw many other women "land" a husband by being more willing to have sex.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still glad I haven't compromised on that. And I don't plan to. It just makes dating complicated. At the point I'm at age-wise I'm less fussed about dating, the fertility ship has sailed for good. Sometimes I would enjoy having a husband and being a wife, and if that's God's will it'll happen, if not, I'm happy with being single.

That doesn't mean that I don't observe what goes on around me, and my observation has been that many people - even a significant number of apparently devout Catholics - tend to believe that as a relationship progresses toward marriage it is okay to "jump the gun" into sexual intimacy. Cohabitation has become so commonplace it's hardly questioned anymore.

Then what happens is the couples who have chosen to cohabit before marriage get married and have the kids and the house and the married life that they got by bending the rules, and yes, that irks me to a degree. Or the cohabitators who don't believe they need a "piece of paper" to validate their love yada yada, suddenly do want to be on the piece of paper that says, for instance, that they are entitled to a share of the inheritance or something like that. And the gay couples want to be treated like a different "option" type of married couple, again with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereunto.

What inspired me to post these thoughts was hearing that even some clergy are sympathetic to these illegitimate unions in one way or another. To me, that sends a message of "Why bother to do it the right way, then?" :shrug: I know, for the intrinsic satisfaction. True. But there is just something not consistent or right about feeling sorry for these folks like their rights are being trampled upon. Those who are living right should be the ones being stood up for, not those who are flaunting their not living right.


#4

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