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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Biblical Principles of Marriage

On Saturday, March 24, I gave a talk on the Biblical Foundations of Marriage at the PreCana Classes held at St. Mary of the Assumption in Upper Marlboro, MD. Some of the notes are give in the immediately previous posts. There is a joke that if you get two ministers in a room, you will get three different interpretations of Scripture. Given that biblical interpretation is so volatile these days, I first gave the gathering my five basic presuppositions. Next, I gave the ten basic principles of marriage from Scripture.

Presuppositions As we Begin

1. The Scriptures are inspired by God and teach truth.

2. We must have the mind of the Church in how Scripture is interpreted.

3. The Bible is not a marriage manual.

4. Better understanding of Scriptural truth comes through a contextual approach.

5. The truth about marriage in the Bible is revealed in a progressive way, culminating in the New Testament.

A Few Basic Biblical Principles

While the Bible is not a manual for marriage, there are some basic principles we can derive from God’s inspired Word. Here are a few:

1. Men and women were made for each other. Most men and women are called to marriage.

2. Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman. They pledge themselves to each other in vows made in the sight of God.

3. The husband is the head of the home and the wife is its heart.

4. While the Bible speaks of the wife’s submission to her husband, there is mutuality in this surrender since the husband is commanded to practice sacrificial love for her, even offering his life as Christ did on the Cross.

5. The husband and wife are dependent co-creators with God.

6. The spouses are called to be helpmates to one another in grace and holiness.

7. Marriage is a vocation that takes precedence over other preoccupations. Your attention and energies must first be focused toward one another.

8. Marriage is a sexually intimate relationship between a man and woman.

9. Christian marriage infers a third in the marriage, Christ. Couples enter into the mystery of Christ and his Church. Our Lord identifies himself with the beloved.

10. Couples should come to the marriage bed undefiled. All sexual activity outside of marriage was regarded by the Jews as a violation of the commandment against adultery.