Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Talk Fans Flames Of Passion For Family And Marriage

By Kaitlin Klein

The Love and Fidelity Network posted a talk that fanned the flame of my passion for the importance of the family and a strong marriage culture. Helen Alvare, JD, a law professor, author, and speaker with an impressive list of accomplishments and involvements in the Catholic, family, and marriage world, outlined underlying reasons why marriage culture is currently struggling and some ways we can help strengthen it, for the good of the world and the Kingdom of God.

Alvare insightfully detailed aspects of marriage culture that are often taken for granted but are actually changing in modern society. The first mentioned is attraction to the opposite sex. This may seem like an obvious and rather silly point to make, but today's culture tries to ignore differences between male and female; truthfully, each have important gifts that should be valued and can work together, especially in a marriage.

She spoke of the pulling away from interdependency and extended family. Americans today are told to fend for themselves, stand on their own two feet, and not rely on others. Being interdependent with another person is not attractive to many, and commitment seems too daunting and perhaps "too much work." Alvare noted that people once used to do things for family simply because they were family. Today many tend to pick and choose who they stay close to.

Finally, Alvare highlighted that children are being separated from marriage, in the realm of law as well as in society. In addition, cohabitation is common, the divorce rate is high, and marriage is not emphasized. Contraceptives are commonplace and abortion is readily available. All of these factors can be overwhelming, and it's no wonder why a good marriage culture is under attack.

The family is the basic unit of society. It is where God has the opportunity to be alive and present, and through which He can affect the world. We can speak up. We can have conversations. We can read and write. We can pray. And we can love and nuture our own families, letting God's love fill the world as best we can.

Author’s note – This talk was entited "Restoring Culture from Confusion," given at the 2015 Love and Fidelity Network Conference. A recording can be found on YouTube.