Marriage is an institution that serves society. Established by God for the purpose of expressing God's spousal, procreative love through the relationship between a man and a woman, committed to each other for life, marriage is the cornerstone of family life. Moreover, the family is the basic cell of society. Strong marriages fortify families; strong families build up communities.
Married people reflect God's love and become credible signs of that love to the world. To do this successfully and for life, married couples need wisdom and strength from the village to keep their promise.
At the heart of sin is the loss of memory. Because of our sinful nature, we sometimes forget our promise; we sometimes cannot see our way clearly. The love that is most critical in marriage is the love that is hardest to give, to love when the beloved is least lovable. At such times when their love reflects the Paschal Mystery, married couples need their village to help them to remember who they are and whose they are, to clear their vision to see each other as gift and precious as in God's sight. At those times the village needs the powerful witness of marriage as evidence of the redemptive power of love.
The work of Arusi Network, Inc. is to awaken us, married couples and the stake-holding communities in which we live and move and have our being, to this truth about marriage, that none of us are strong enough or wise enough to do this alone. We need the wisdom and strength of the village to sustain marriage, and the village needs marriage to be the credible witness of God's covenantal love in our midst.
The programs and services we offer lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation of an African worldview (defining the "I" in the "we") as it pertains to marriage. Indeed, it takes a village to sustain a lifelong marriage. The more a married couple embraces this truth the broader their base becomes. And their marriage strengthens.
Each married couple needs a clearly defined mission to serve the village and to let their light shine on the world; the village must have a mission to protect the institution of marriage and encourage married couples. The failure of a marriage is the failure of a community. The grace of marriage is the grace of the community.
Our vision and purpose are:
The best of what we, the Church, do to minister to marriages is illuminate their life with God and draw them closer to God. Let’s consider the marriage as a triad relationship with God at the top-center angle, and the spouses flanking the bottom left and right angles. Notice that as we bring the husband and wife closer to God they become closer to each other. When they experience and honor this sacramentality of their marriage—God-in-them—they also come to revere the marriage as a holy relationship that is much bigger than the two of them.
“We give the most powerful, transforming, miracle-making love when the beloved is least deserving. It is then that our love reflects the love of God given in the sacrifice of the cross. Our ‘Easter’ is of God’s shaping us into who we need to be.” - Andrew & Terri Lyke
Andrew and Terri Lyke are members of the Catholic Speakers Organization, CatholicSpeakers.com.