Nov 8, 2011

The Screwtape Letters (part VI)

18) The Enemy's demand on humans takes the form of a dilemma; either complete abstinence or unmitigated monogamy. Ever since our Father's first great victory, we have rendered the former very difficult to them. The latter, for the last few centuries, we have been closing as a way of escape. We have done this through the poets and novelists by persuading the humans that a curious, and usually short-lived, experience which they call "being in love" is the only respectable ground for marriage; that marriage can, and ought to, render this excitement permanent; and that a marriage which does not do so is no longer binding. This idea is our parody of an idea that came from the Enemy (God).

Now, more than ever, music, books, movies; all the forms of communication, have a huge influence upon our culture. As mass communication grows, so does the evil of decadence.

While poetry, books and music can certainly lift our hearts and minds to the Divine, it can also lead us down the road to destruction. Satan once again is out to confuse the good with the bad.

Today's modern poets and writers spew nothing but illicit and explicit garbage in their works.

Have you listened to what is on the radio these days?
Have you seen the popular movies and television shows airing these days?
Have you glanced over at the magazine rack in the store lately?

You will be hard pressed to find any of these that do not reference something sensual or offensive. Most of the time, you will find it hard to see anything that isn't offensive to anyone with morals.

Now imagine our youth (as well as the rest of us) being bombarded by all these images, these idea's, these
false ways to happiness, to love.

No wonder there are so many broken marriages, unhappy people, depressed children. People now-a-days
try to live their lives according to what they see in all this media.
But, what they fail to see, is the lives behind the music, videos, actors and actresses. Those peoples lives are in shambles and those who idolize them, who try to live the lives they see, are going to go the way of the current. Dead bodies (and souls) float downstream.

The attack of Satan on sacrament of marriage has taken on many forms, especially in our recent times.
Satan has turned "love" into just a fleeting moment or word instead of the eternal "love" that God speaks of throughout the Scriptures.

Love is a word meant to be descriptive for us in relationship; relationship with God, with our spouses, with our children and with our fellow mankind.

Now, once again, Satan has taken something good and turned it into a catch phrase; we "love" our pet, we "love" our house, we "love" our favorite TV program; we "love" to do this and that.
We cannot have a relationship with our car, home, or I-POD.

Modern culture has rendered the word "love" meaningless; so meaningless, that our youth has no idea what love actually means. The sacrificial aspect of love is lost. The very cause of love (God) is forgotten.

So, as Screwtape points out, when all the meaningless "feelings" of love is gone, so does the marriage.
Satan has convinced the culture that "love" is nothing more than a word or a feeling, so people have no idea what the basis of their marriage is for other than feeling good and having fun together.

Without the foundational, sacramental basis of marriage, which is God, your marriage will have a hard time surviving the non-fun, non-exciting times and days of our lives.

There is so much more I could comment on this, but just be aware of what you are committing yourself to when you make a covenant with the Lord. It is binding forever.

There is also something that most people don't think about when it comes to marriage;

Most people scoff at the thought of becoming a priest or religious because "there is no way they can be abstinent"; that is just not normal.
Of course they are talking about cultural "normality" and not "normal" according to Gods plan.

So what does abstinence have to do with marriage?
Is that normal?

It may not be "normal" since we are called to give all of ourselves in marriage, but there are times when we can or even are hurled into it.

Abstinence in marriage can occur if you use NFP for your family planning.
Abstinence can also be sacrificial if agreed upon by husband and wife for a kind of fasting (for lack of better terminology).

There is another reason for abstinence in marriage, which Satan will test your "being in love".
The unplanned abstinence brought about by an accident, physical or mental situation or disease.
This is when a husband and wife find out truly how much they are in love; how much they are loved; how well the foundation of their marriage actually is.

Most younger couples never think about that since it seems they have their whole lives ahead, but it could happen at any time; and this is probably one of the most thought provoking situations that one should think of when contemplating marriage. The true test of your love is, if you are willing to sacrifice the pleasures of the flesh and live Gods covenant through the wandering in the desert to the valley of death.

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