Formation in Marriage
Being married is a significant part of our identity. We may not fully appreciate that marriage is also a vocation, a way of serving God and the Church and a specific path to heaven, in which we are concerned not only with our own salvation but also that of our spouse and children. But just as an athlete or musician performing at the very highest level still uses a coach or teacher, so we can benefit from other kinds of formation that help us to live out this vocation with a greater sense of purpose.
And what is this purpose? Pope St John Paul II identified the four tasks of the family as building a communion of persons, serving life, participating in society, and contributing to the life and mission of the church.
Couples who have engaged in formation programmes should not only be able to communicate and empathise with each other better, but also find that they are better equipped for the discipleship and service to which they have been called. Growing in love is a life-long journey and different kinds of formation exist for different stages in this journey.
If you have already benefited from some form of marriage formation, that does not need to be the end of your journey; it may be that the next stage is for you to support others, perhaps by getting involved in marriage preparation or counselling, either in your parish or in one of the organisations mentioned below, and receiving specific formation and training to help you undertake such a ministry.
Couples who are established in their married lief will almost certainly benefit from the support of other couples and/or the chance to reflect more deeply and in a more structured way on their marriage and how they relate to each other.
For more information go to Marriage and Family Life – Brentwood Diocese (dioceseofbrentwood.net) or look at the links below.