The following sermon was given on May 7, 2023, at the wedding of my daughter Catherine Whiteford and my son-in-law Benjamin Dixon, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Marriage was established by God in Creation. Although many people get confused as to what marriage is these days, I can guarantee you 100 percent of the people here have a male father and a female mother and only one of each. That's the basis for all human life. God made it the very root and foundation of society, and in a healthy society most people would be born from parents married to each other and live in a stable home. The more that ceases to be the norm, the more unstable society becomes.
That's why it's all the more important for us as Christians to be committed to marriage, because each marriage is like one thread in a big, woven cloth. You might pull one string out without messing up the whole garment, but if you keep pulling out strings, one after and another, pretty soon the whole thing unravels. Marriage is that important.
Christian marriage is something in addition to that. In the Gospel reading, we heard about how Christ took natural water–which is good in of itself and made by God at the time of Creation–and how, when He blessed it, He turned that water into wine. God takes what He already blesses from Creation in terms of natural marriage and makes it into something else. It's not just an avenue through which life comes forth and we produce future generations, nor just the basis of society. It's also the path by which you can save your souls.
A husband and a wife in a Christian home are to be committed to each other in such a way that when one person is weak, the other one is strong. If you have to drag the other person across the finish line of life into heaven, you do that, because you are that committed to the relationship.
It's not just important for you, but also important for your children. It's difficult for children to see parents who don't get along, particularly if it was those parents who taught them the Faith. They can reasonably ask, "if my parents taught me the Faith but they couldn't keep the marriage together, then what good is it?"
We as parents need to be good models of what it means to be Christian parents, even if it's difficult. The thing is, there are always going to be times that are difficult. There will always be times in your marriage when you think, “I made a big mistake, I don't know about this, this is not going well.” But the thing is, if you remain committed to it–and both of you remain committed to it–you will be able to stand firm.
How do you get that kind of blessing from God? You do what the Virgin Mary said to the servants in the Gospel reading: “Do whatever He tells you.” And then they took that water to Christ and He blessed it, turning it into wine. If you do whatever Christ tells you to do, then you will have no problems between each other, your children will be blessed, and society around you will be blessed because they can look to you as an example of a Christian man and woman.
May God bless you.