God is the authority over all marriages. The marriages not given to His authority are those marriages disconnected from religious communities.
Marriage is designed by God and communicates the nature of God and the purpose of our lives.
If Marriage was not gender specific connected to religious communities than God would not have chosen Eve for Adam and Joseph for Mary. If children were not a necessary part of a God created family than Jesus did not need a Mother and a Father. Adam and Eve would not have survived the treachery of Cain. The list goes on and on.
God created a specific family unit pleasing to Him. That family unit receives great temporal and spiritual benefits until the end of the age.
Single-hood is an invention of recent times, but it was never God’s actual instituted state in life. It is manmade in order to remedy a massive crisis of faith. Religious celibacy is a different state in life.
If you are a non-Catholic pastor married with children there is an allowable dispensation for entry into a married priesthood, I believe there is a community of converts who are married priests in Texas.
Catholic Deacons are married. I believe requirements vary depending on the diocese. Meaning age etcetera.
As of now an unmarried Deacon can’t become married after ordination. But once married they are eligible to enter the diaconate. Deacons play a huge role in the life of the Catholic Church. Someday their entry into the priesthood, while married, may be common place.
If you are a Catholic meaning baptized Catholic and you became married on the side of a mountain to a non-Catholic, your marriage is not religiously recognized. If you are a Christian married to another Christian both of you validly baptized your marriage is recognized by all religious communities. If you are both Catholic but married by a Judge or other secular authority, your marriage is not religiously recognized by certain communities.
When a marriage is valid in the Christian community enormous blessing are afforded to the couple. Special graces flow and are only available to marriages given couples by the authority of God.
A cooperating marriage will understand discernment of spirits. Identifying trials as purifying, penitential or result of sin.
If you seek to get your marriage unified under the mantle of God and identified as a Sacrament, the first step is to know which of your marriages were valid and which are not. Then visit with a local priest who has the passion and the heart to see your journey through to its completion.
The Sacrament of Marriage is an institution that is considered a vocation hence a ministry. A witness with eligibility of authority to act in discipleship.
Artificial birth control does not lend itself to a marital union seeking a religious journey. The only way to know this is to evaluate your own life. Where are the trials? And then discern if using artificial birth control is contributing to those trials. If you decided against artificial birth control and desire to space your children due to finance, illness and age and must refrain from having more children, natural family planning has enormous benefits while still being open to God’s plan for your life. Each parish offers a local NFP specialist.
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Elizabeth M Shauby