An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

"Made for Each Other": an introduction

Do a man and a woman really matter for marriage?

Some today might not even think to ask this question. Others might answer a resounding “no” to this question. “What does being a man or being a woman matter?” they might say. “All you need is love…”

But is this true? Does the reality of being male or female mean anything at all? Or is sexual difference merely an invention of society? If all we need is love, then what makes marriage different from other loving relationships, like those between parents and children, siblings, or friends? These are real, and serious, questions that deserve serious answers.

As the Catholic Church teaches, men and women do matter for marriage. In fact, sexual difference is essential for marriage. As the U.S. bishops wrote in their 2009 pastoral letter Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan, “It is precisely the difference between man and woman that makes possible this unique communion of persons, the unique partnership of life and love that is marriage” (p. 11). This truth is accessible to all people of religious belief or not; it is a truth that spans the millennia of human existence, based in human nature.

In other words, it is through sexual difference – the difference of man to woman and woman to man – that husband and wife are able to give themselves completely to each other, forming the unique lifelong and fruitful bond that is marriage.

Interested in learning more? We invite you to explore the Church’s teaching (that is, God’s truth about marriage) with fresh eyes. As a start, we encourage you to watch the 12-minute video “Made for Each Other,” which introduces the topics of sexual difference and complementarity between men and women. There’s also the Viewer’s Guide that accompanies the video, as well as a series of FAQs about this topic. For those who might lead a group discussion or teach/preach on the topic, a Resource Booklet is available too.

Finally, feel free to contact us with your questions, or add a comment/question to this post. Peace be with you!

6 responses to “"Made for Each Other": an introduction”

  1. Louis says:

    Thank you for voicing loudly the necessity to defend the traditional understanding of marriage and providing resources so that people may gain understanding and have tools to defend their faith and beliefs.

    I have been sharing your resources with many friends and family and all find it highly enlightening and edifying. Please continue your excellent work, as your efforts strengthen me and many whom I know in our defense of marriage in our Catholic faith.

    God bless you.

  2. I suggest adding a facebook like button for the blog!

    • Marriage: Unique for a Reason says:

      Hi Helen,

      You can access the “Marriage: Unique for a Reason” facebook page by clicking on the facebook icon at the bottom of every page. You can also “like” a page or post on facebook by clicking on the small facebook icon at the top of the page.

      Thank you,
      Marriage: Unique for a Reason

  3. Stan Byrne says:

    I would like to take issue with some of your basic premises on marriage. Granted that marriage (in one form or another) is a human universal, Anthropological literature shows that among the cultures studied, monogamy is a minority, polygyny is the most common, and polyandry, altho rare, exists. So, when did God decide that strict monogamy was the only place for sexual relations? Lest you you apply the fallacious statement commonly used that no society had recognized same sex marriage, please research the concept of the Berdache, common among the plains Indians and throughout California. That they were considered married can be found in Father Palou’s “Life of Junipera Serra”. Culture and society find many ways of dealing with potentially disruptive behavior and this recognition homosexuality is far more humane and practical than that of the Church.

    • john parisi says:

      Don’t worry about what other societies practice. The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman. Follow the teachings of the Catholic Church, The Pope, the Magisterium and Tradition and you will not go wrong. Sodom and Gomoriah were destroyed because Abraham could not find ten good people living in both cities.

  4. Jo Ann Evins says:

    Love your article on Marriage between a man
    and a woman.I like that it shows its not
    the Catholic church that teaches this but
    also Jesus. JAE

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