What happened when I got to talk to two young Polish guys about what they thought about marriage?
23-year old World Youth Day (WYD) Michał Janczewski laughed straight away at my question because he admitted he had never even seriously thought about it before. I told him to dig deep. “Would it be ok to be married or to just live in?” I asked. What’s clear was the programmer/Mass lector was against the concept of co-habitation, saying: “when people fall in love they should get married.” When both people are of age and have seriously prayed and thought about it, wouldn’t you want “forever” with the one you love to start right away? Mís, as those close to him call him, admitted he believes in marriage so much “because of our faith.”
Though a lot younger, 14-year old Alex Wiśniewski, whom I met at our Warsaw parish’ welcome party for us, WYD Krakow delegates from the Philippines and Brazil, said he believes in marriage “because it’s not only two people getting together but standing in front of God… The witness is God.”
He also talked about what so many adults don’t take so seriously nowadays. For Alex, who spent a few years living in the U.S., a civil wedding isn’t a real marriage without the Church’s blessing. When asked, both Michał and Alex said marriage is more than a contract because “it is for life.” Come to think of it, you can wiggle out of even the most iron-clad contract but not marriage.
I was quite happy with their answers. I could really see that young Poles see the value of traditional family and marriage even while more and more marriages end in divorce and separation. Considering that 92.2% percent of Poland is Catholic, it’s obvious that marriage is still a big deal to them even if divorce is legal. Divorce still happens less frequently in Poland than in many European countries.
I asked them the next killer question: What can you say to young couples who are not really interested in marriage and who just want to live together? Alex said marriage should come from a “mature decision” and isn’t like a trial thing. It’s not like you can leave the person, he added. Michał, on the other hand, said: “I would like to say to them, it is not a good thing because it’s a basic regulation of our faith [to get married first before living together]. They have an easy way to end it if [there was] no marriage. That is not a good thing.”
This interesting encounter with these Polish guys also convinced me even more that it’s unbelievably better for people in love to live in the grace of God than to live a life that could easily crumble without the gift of marriage.
About the Blogger
Danielle Bostre is a graduate of the University of Sto. Tomas. She is fond of singing and playing the ukulele. She loves to travel and explore the world, but most especially she wants to be able to help and touch others lives.