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“I don't think it's even possible. Besides, she's okay with it, so it's not a big deal.” A week before their wedding, the groom and the bride were sharing that their most recent disagreement involved the groom’s former girlfriends sexting him. Pornography was also mentioned. “It's really not a big deal, but I do mind the girlfriends.” “What's the difference?” he asked.

The bride wanted the groom to block his ex-girlfriends’ numbers or at least not get upset with her when she took his phone and texted them back that “he’s taken”. “Maybe, just don't lie about it to me,” she said. “Just tell me they are sexting you and then, let me respond.”

"Man Card" and Your Marriage 

It was a week before their wedding, and this was their disagreement. Somehow, in seven days they were supposed to enter into the holy sacrament of Matrimony. The weight and the muck and the misery of so many mediocre choices had sucked the joy and excitement out of their upcoming wedding.

When I asked them if they could have an agreed-upon response to any future sext that arrived, the bride liked the idea, but the groom said that ultimately, he would lose his “man card” if he let his fiance respond to these messages. Word might get out among his friends that he gave up control.  

He personally didn't mind the messages and was not going to block them. I responded, “You will have to make a choice between your 'man card' and your marriage.” As was the case 10 years ago, I never heard from the couple again, because they had gone through marriage preparation without ever being connected to a church community, a counselor, a real mentor or any real opportunity to make all things new. 

Considering Calling Off the Wedding

Fast forward a few years and there was another similar conversation. This couple was also a week before their wedding, and their pastor had sent them to have a conversation because he sensed something was amiss and he realized that his couple had never gone over their premarital questionnaire.

The groom shared that the biggest struggle in their relationship was his ongoing sense that he could not get away from his past addiction to pornography.

He said that there was this nagging fear that no matter how hard he tried to recover, that it had contaminated him, their relationship, and his future marriage to the point that he was considering calling off the wedding. While it had been months since he had looked at pornography, the desire and the draw was there and he had never felt free.

I shared with him the line from The Book of Revelation, “Behold, I make all things new.” I asked him to take a minute to reflect on life and whether he thought that the burdens and the grime that he carried were stronger than Christ’s forgiveness. It's either a yes or no. The groom shared that he never thought about it that way.

He started crying and said that he wanted to be new, and he wanted more than anything to have the freedom to give his whole self to his bride on their wedding day. That day, they moved out of the same apartment, and she went to stay with a mentor couple.

Nothing Is Stronger Than Christ's Love 

One couple claimed Christ’s offer to make all things new. The other went away sad. Which couple will you be?

No matter your current vocation in life—you can accept Christ’s gift of a new start and you can begin walking in the way of true love. Will there be bumps and setbacks? Absolutely! Just remember that no “thing” is stronger than Christ’s love for you. Nothing. Like the paralytic—get up! Roll up your mat and be on your way. Live the life that you were created for!

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Mary-Rose Verret and her husband Ryan are the founders of Witness to Love and the authors of Witness to Love: How to Help the Next Generation Build Marriages that Survive and Thrive. Mary-Rose is a featured presenter in the series “Doors of Mercy” released by St. Benedict Press for the Year of Mercy. Together the Verrets speak on issues regarding marriage, mercy, faith, family, and fertility. Mary-Rose has been interviewed by The National Catholic Register, EWTN, The Catholic World Report, Catholic News Agency, The Gus Lloyd Show, Aleteia, and secular media outlets.