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Another Holy Trinity

Fr. Joel Human Relationships, The Loving Life

The three persons of the Blessed Trinity are united in self-giving love. When God created human beings, He made us capable of creating a community of love. Intimacy between a man and a woman creates new human beings. Across times and cultures, parents have been expected to make a stable commitment to one another before they start creating life. We call this marriage, the promise of the couple to stick together and raise the little lives they might create. Three things, marriage, sex, and babies, have always been seen as a package deal: if you were choosing one, you needed to accept all three.

That attitude changed dramatically in the last century. Contraception emerged as an answer to overpopulation and the stress caused by children. To quote Jimmy Stewart, “You call this a happy family? Why do we have to have all these kids!” The assumption was the marriages would be better without the stress of ‘unwanted children.’ Contracepted sex quickly become the norm, and not just for married people. Unmarried people felt themselves entitled to sex with people they weren’t married to, and people they had no desire to have a baby with. In people’s minds, marriage, sex, and babies came to be seen as three separate and unconnected things. You could pick whatever you wanted and leave the rest.

It took only a single generation for abortion to be legalized. We would never have been OK with killing or own children until we started to see the ‘unintended consequences’ of expecting sex to not create life. The cultural expectation of sex without commitment leads to the #MeToo movement. Listen up, celebrities: you know you have her consent when she says, “I do” at the altar. To many people, this sounds extreme and old-fashioned. But there is a natural unity to marriage, sex, and babies. Treating them as a package deal allows you to personally reap the benefits of working with nature. One blogger, writing about yet another celebrity accused of non-consensual sex, suggested these simple rules for a happy sex life:

  1. If you’re not married, assume there’s never consent.
  2. If you are married, treat your spouse like a person and not an object.

As I watch the news or listen to people talk about relationships gone bad, I am struck over and over again by how many of these problems could have been solved by the simple rules above. God’s plans are not easy, but they are simple. God’s simple plan leads to true love.