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The sacrament of marriage in the contemporary media age

09 May 2016, by Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA in Sacraments

Media ageThe word ‘marriage’ may appear to be very familiar to all of us. Yes, the concept of marriage appears simple, but it is quite complex in reality. The truth is whether the concept of marriage is familiar or complex; it remains a sacred institution cherished by the church. It is an institution the flood of God’s anger did no destroy when the face of the earth was whipped by it. “Marriage is part of God’s plan for man, and so, in her celebration of marriage the Church prays thus; Father, by your plan, man and woman are united, and married life has been established as the one blessing that was not forfeited by original sin or washed away in flood.

It may sound very elementary and berating to ask you to define marriage; it is one of the primary schools’ questions. Little children will not hesitate to tell you that marriage is the legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife. This is a correct and universally accepted definition, even though we can Christianize it or make it ‘Catholic’ by saying till death do them part. Marriage remains one of the sacraments of the Church. Still, looking at our world today and the things happening around marriages, we are tempted to believe that marriage needs to be redefined. I am not encouraging the redefining of marriage, but looking at the world today where more unmarried couples ‘are’ raising children; more gay and lesbians couples raising children; more single women having children without a male partner to help raise them; more people living together without getting married; more mothers of young children working ‘far from home’… and more women not ever having children, the temptation to redefined marriage will be there. But despite this temptation, the church’s stand on marriage remains unchanged.

The contemporary media age undoubtedly poses challenges to the institution of marriage; these challenges are overwhelming. This is not an attempt to condemn the internet and social media or to be anti-social, far from it. Our time’s technological advancement must be applauded, but one must be conscious of its negative side. The internet brings the world very close to us, the world’s unit, and makes information easily accessible. But the inventors’ excellent intentions have been abused by many users, thereby exposing the other side of the internet. It has a powerful negative impact on marriage and family life because it has tempered with the family’s very root, which is marriage. If marriage is not well rooted, the family becomes shaky. Today, young men and women meet on the internet to initiate talks about love and marriage but execute it without knowing the true identity and character of the person on the other side of the internet. Dating and marriages are being arranged and executed over the internet, making two strangers husband and wife.

The mediaSocial media like Facebook, Tweeter, and others have succeeded in destroying many families’ unity and relationships today. Both parents and children now spend more time on social media relating to the outside world at the marriage and family expense. The power of communication in marriage cannot be underrated, but social media has taken this place in many marriages. Many couples boast of the great number of ‘friends’ or ‘followership’ they have on their Facebook page or tweeter and all other social media, yet they remain lonely at home. The so-called internet friends cannot take the place of your marriage and family.

Many marriages have crashed, and families have been led astray and destroyed by fake prophets and prophecies, thanks to the media age. The contemporary media age has brought the good, the bad, and the ugly into our living rooms. Yes, the media age has brought contradicting and confusing family values so close to us to the extent that parenting has become a big challenge. Parents now find it hard even to tell what kind of information the children have access to.

The institution of marriage must be defended and protected from every form of attack, especially from the ‘demon’ of social media and renewed madness for same-sex marriage.

  • Apiomeh Evelyn Reply

    Nice 1 fr. Hope 2 see d part 2 of it cos I know u ve more than enough 2 say on dis nd I pray the solution wud not be far 4rm us