“Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.'"
- Mark 10:5
Recently my 3rd grader son had been taught about the 10 Commandments in his Catholic school. I was watching an action-packed television show from my phone that I had watched many time before. This time with the knowledge he was just given, my son asked me, “Mommy, can you stop watching that? It doesn’t follow the 5th Commandment. I realized how important it was for my son to live God’s will fully and how important it was that I followed His Commandments. I was reminded how much our children watch what we do, even if we don’t put it directly in front of them.
The family unit is key in ensuring the well-being of our children’s and bringing them closer to God. This starts with the parents and the marriage they have established. Jesus, Himself, gave the example of the sacrifice a husband should make in order to ensure that “[his] wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your home your children like olive plants around your table.” Jesus the bridegroom was "made lower than the angels,” gave Himself wholly to His bride, we the Church, in order to bring “many children to glory”. It is our responsibility as parents to bring our children into salvation. And we must do so humbly and wholly, giving ourselves to the glory of God, leading by our actions and example.
Unfortunately, we often fall short, giving in to our own selfishness and not considering the good of our families. In the Gospel, the Pharisees make reference to a commandment in which Moses talks about a bill of divorce should a man be displeased with his wife (Deut 24). Jesus explained to them that this happened because of the mindset of the people. But just like the Pharisees, what people do not consider is the whole text. Moses then emphasized the importance of a husband staying home in his first year of marriage “for the sake of his family, to bring joy to the wife he has married.” There is great importance for the bond between husband and wife to be established first before any other duty, even to his country, and charging the husband to do so. What kind of relationship have we established in our own marriages that in turn affect our children?
Jesus then goes on to remind them of the relationship that God had intended in creation. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” (Gen 2:24) God meant for us to live in the perfect companionship with one another. Notice in the beginning of the first reading, God did not mean for us to be alone. Yet no matter what kind of creatures he created, it was not until woman was created that Adam found the one who was suitable. But God created woman from a rib of Adam. In order to make the perfect companion, Adam had to give a part of himself into her, and it was God who brought them together. How willing are we to give ourselves to each other and allow God to bring us together? How can we teach our children to love if we do not give love to each other? How do they live life fully and joyously and seek the the Kingdom of God if we do not model the same genuinely?