The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops offer an abridged article on marriage entitled Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan. Make copies of the article for each student. Ask them to read through the article all the way through and then go back a second time and underline the six sentences that begin with “Marriage is . . . “. These are the sentences from the USCCB article:

  • Marriage is a natural institution established by God the Creator.
  • Marriage is not merely a private institution.
  • Marriage is important for the upbringing of the next generation, and therefore it is important for society.
  • Marriage is meant to be a lifelong covenantal union, which divorce claims to break.
  • Marriage is a vocation, or divine call, as necessary and valuable to the Church as other vocations.
  • Marriage is a school of gratitude, in which husband and wife are thankful for the gift of each other.

Clarify each of these statements in a class discussion. Call on students to share their own ideas on what each statement means and examples of how they have witnessed these statements being lived out in marriages they are familiar with (e.g., parents, grandparents, neighbors).

Next, on the back of the handout, ask students to write three of their own statements beginning with “Marriage is . . . “ When complete, continue with the discussion based on some of the examples the students came up with.