This is a posting filled with images,  but it’s best the images come from your own mind.

The Sixth Commandment is for  protection:

A young man, a young woman,  in love with each other before they fully know what love is.    They can look closely and openly into each other’s eyes.   Then, marriage.    Then the  “marital act”   with God’s creative force in attendance at all times.

The next image in my mind is one of my daughter and her husband.  The two are sitting together, she is leaning with her back against him.   She’s in a form-fitting rose-pink top, and she’s obviously pregnant.   He has his hands around her, resting on her belly.   They both have a look of sheer pleasure and lively excitement.   Joy and pride.  (Too precious to post that picture here in public.)

I’ve seen other young husbands whose wives are pregnant.    I’ve been pregnant myself, and I know the wonders of that, so hard to put into words.   It’s   awesome  and mysterious that there is a separate human life inside of you,  a brand-new person — and the love that pours into that child is nothing short of astonishing.   What joy!      But the thing that always fascinated me was that young husbands often show a similar strong  attachment to his unborn child,  a pride of “accomplishment,”    and such a mature sense of responsibility and protection and the need to be a strong man for his wife and child.

The baby is born.   The two new parents look down together at their sleeping child.    Words are inadequate to express everything they are feeling, though they talk anyway, and it sounds like the most stereotyped,  trite, expected set of words and phrases — because the wonder of the birth is common to all healthy, mature adults,  and there is a sense of silent understanding among all human families.

The family is the visible evidence of  marital love,  whether the family is made of two members, or three, or more.

As the married couple get older,  they can still look into each other’s eyes, freely and openly,  honestly.    They have nothing to hide from each other.    Children or no,  the two,  now older,   have done well.

And that’s what the Sixth Commandment protects.

(Of course,  historically speaking,   there doesn’t have to be “love” between the two.   They are married.   They are at peace with each other and faithful for the sake of the children to come;  the heirs.   The Next Generation.    They have a solemn responsibility to their children, and that matures the young couple.)

(And, of course,  not every married couple will have children.    Sometimes children just don’t “come.”    But the family that consists of the two of them have serious and important effects on everyone around them )

If you’re born,   if you exist as a human person,  you would wish for and hope for a young couple to receive you into the world like this.     Or arrange to have you received into a loving family.    You would wish that your parents, then,   would understand how  important you are to the world —

          — and you would especially wish your parents to know how important their marriage is to you!

Again,  this is what the Sixth Commandment protects.

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

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