Engaged Encounter Part II: Three to Get Married?

Sexual Intimacy in Marriage

A God-Given Gift

Our sexual intimacy is part of God's plan for husband and wife to become more expressive of God's goodness. Sex is our most intimate form of communication and is part of our overall relationship. Our sexuality is a God-given gift to be shared between a married couple in a life-giving and responsible manner.

Human sexuality – for all of us – is the was of being in, and relating to the world as male and female. Sexuality involves one's view of self…thoughts, feelings, actions that are unique to each of us as male and female. Sexuality is one of God's gifts that calls humans into communication and communion with each other. This is the profound experience (mystery) of a full sexual union between husband and wife.

  1. In what areas do I wish that we would be more open in discussing intimacy in our relationship? (e.g. sexual relations, couple prayer, family)
  2. What are some factors in my past, which may affect my ability to be intimate with you?
  3. In what areas do I feel comfortable talking to you about sex and sexuality?
  4. In what areas do I feel uncomfortable talking to you about sex and sexuality?
  5. How do I think our present attitude about sex with affect our relationship after marriage?
  6. What qualities of yours do I find sexually attractive (e.g. sensitivity, tenderness, physical attractiveness, need for affection, etc)
  7. How do I see our intimate realtionship contributing to the sacredness and unity in our marriage?
  8. How do I feel about developing or enhancing our intimacy through prayer life?
  9. If we are sexually actice now, how I feel about not having sexual relations until honeymoon?
  10. What is my definition of commitment?
  11. How do I feel about using sex as a means of getting my way?
  12. What brought us together and what do we have now that keeps us together?

During the talk, the couple said something like, "We realize that some of you are already having sex. We ask that you prayerfully consider not having sex again until you are married." There was absolutely no mention of the Church's teachings regarding sex outside of marriage. There was also no mention in the talk about marital chastity. I wonder if there are any pre-Cana classes in this country that use Theology of the Body as their basis.

Becoming a Family: Our Love Reflected as Life

Embracing Christian Values

Focuses on three main concepts:

  1. Formation of family values
  2. Opennes to life
  3. The impact of children

We become a family at marriage. We are in
vited to regard new life as a gift from God and to welcome the responsibility of being good parents. Natural Family Planning (NFP) is introduced. Children add new roles of mother and father to that of wife and husband. Relationships with children will go through the same stages of romance, disillusionment and joy that couples find in their own relationship. The presentation helps in selecting and integrating values and traditions from our individual backgrounds, which will form our own unique family.

It is important to realize that our family begins on the day we become married. Being open to each other's past family values and traditions is an important aspect of forming our life-giving plan for our family. Forming a family involves the blending of two people's pasts to form one family's future.

  1. What values/tradittions do I like in my family and yours? How can we integrate these into our developing family?
  2. What values/traditions in my family and yours do I dislike? Why?
  3. Are there any problems in our families that we need to address for the good of our new family?
  4. How many children would I like to have and when? How ismy answer affected by social pressures, economic limitations, and fertility problems? Have we as a couple made a decision in this area?
  5. What methods of family planning have we personally investigated? Why? Have we considered Natural Family Planning as a method of practicing responsible parenthood?
  6. Will I accept children lovingly from God?
  7. What are the advntages/disadvantages of one of us being a stay-at-home parent? How can we make life-giving decisions in this area?
  8. What plans are we making to enable our family to grow spiritually? What decisions are we making to become more open to God's presence in our family?

Their idea of introducing NFP was to say something like, "The Church's approved form of contraception is NFP. If you want more information about it, look in the box over there." Contrast that to the classes downtown where an entire class was devoted to the topic.