From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Collette from Eastleigh, Nairobi writes: “Fr Beste I always like your articles on marriage and relationship, especially the current on how Emmanuel Kant defined marriage. Are there some philosophers who have made comments on marriage, especially one that explains what makes good and lasting marriage?

I was also touched by the life of St. Augustine and how he got converted. Did he also write on marriage, if so please can you share with us? Thank you Father and keep on the good work you are doing to educate us.”

Thank you for this interesting question Collette. Philosopher Hegel offers some secrets to your question. For good and lasting marriage he argues must be founded on true love. Love in terms the consciousness of unity with one another.

Marriage, as the immediate type of ethical relationship, contains first, the moment of physical life; and since marriage is a substantial tie, the life involved in it is life in its totality, i.e. as the actuality of the race and its life-process.

Secondly, in self-consciousness the natural sexual union — a union purely inward or implicit and for that very reason existent as purely external — is changed into a union on the level of mind, into self-conscious love.

For Hegel, sex union should just be the core of that love and not the primary reason for marriage. That is why you can still love and be faithful to your husband or wife even if sexual union does not take place for some reasons.

Marriage should be in essence an ethical tie. The ethical aspect of marriage in this case consists in the parties’ consciousness of this unity as their substantive aim, and so in their love, trust, and common sharing of their entire existence as individuals.

For St. Augustine union of male and female for the purpose of procreation is the natural good of marriage. Fidelity he argued is the very act in which married partners pay the debt they owe to each other. Fidelity must be kept even in the event of divorce. The strength of this bond is on account of the “sacramentum” of a greater reality.

I would also like to add here that the power of prayer is very important in marriage. Many of us give up on prayer when we don’t get the answer we want when we want it. For nearly two decades, Saint Monica prayed for her husband Patricius and son Augustine.

Patricius was known to be an abusive man with a volatile temper.  Monica continued to attend church services nearly every day and prayed for her husband with an undeniable fervor. Her love and devotion transformed Patricius.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
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