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Two Become One or Three? - How You Answer Might Predict A Divorce
By Evon Elias :: Saturday, January 12, 2008 :: 95682 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Opinion and Editorials

Chaldeans love a good wedding.  Even more, Chaldeans love a great marriage.   Sure: a pick of the dress, a smile to the camera, the walk down the aisle, the prayers of matrimony, and the ever-deep line of “I do.” 

Alongside dawning smiling faces are friends, family, and loved ones.  The night hours tuned to the rhythm of music and beat of the feet as the celebration of love and family starts a new chapter.  The couple now joined in Holy Matrimony awaits the joys of love. 

All wrapped in hope to successfully leap over the obstacles that will undoubtedly emerge. But, of course, that is only the beginning of the story; particularly for Chaldeans in America and parts of Europe. 

Data increasingly shows that obstacles like divorce in the western world are pretty high hurdles.  Divorce is consistently on the rise.  Perhaps the only thing to ensure couples don’t divorce is a return to the proven and faithful values taught in life’s universal guidebook – the Holy Bible. 

The challenge remains if Chaldeans in America and Europe are still able to adhere to the tenants of their faith and follow the teachings of the church while they battle the never-ending waves of proponents and groups that undermine the family trying to rip the Chaldean marriage apart.  

It’s no surprise that divorce in consumer driven America is on the rise.  Organized efforts to make divorce accessible and acceptable have long been at work.   76% of the reasons cited for divorce include minor disagreements over materialism, romance expectations, and boredom a recent GfK Roper Research study reveals.  Fortunately Chaldeans still view divorce for causes that do not endanger the family as morally reprehensible. 

American morals have changed dramatically on matters that negatively impact the family.  Forty years ago it was widely regarded as morally wrong, and socially ruinous, for a man to walk out on his wife and children. It was also true in that quaint and faraway time that aberrations like abortion, pornography, and homosexual activity were, if not entirely unknown, nevertheless pretty nearly condemned by everyone.

Had anyone suggested, back then, the permissibility of, say, partial-birth abortion or same-sex marriage, not only would people find that person’s ideas incomprehensible, but his or her morals culpable

What changed in 40 years? 

Experts say the hidden discovery of short-term profit in undermining families.  Money, the Mammon-God,  that has driven greedy and politically influential corporations and law firms to push legislation and law suites under the guise of feminism, choice, and freedom.   Chaldean marriage counselor Hafa Benny adds, “They work to destroy firewalls that helped families remain intact, reduce parental obligations and commitments, and diminish the role of institutions and organizations like churches that kept families strong and secure.”

Divorce and family destruction in America is quite profitable.  Consider the analogy of a demolition company that wants to condemn every building for annihilation.  The more buildings they bring down the more money.   In the industry of family ruin, the government, courts, and their citizen secretaries called lawyers readily understand the profitably of a crumbling family. 

Teams of social workers, psychologists and visitation supervisors are often required by law to involve themselves. Each must be paid hourly and at hefty billable rates.  The consequence of a divorced family ripples through the economy.  Schools, police, lawyers, courthouses, and prisons need more money in taxes to handle the demolition.  The bottom line - divorce is very, very, profitable, and society foots the bill. 

Many couples have long been disillusioned as to what’s needed for a strong and healthy marriage.  Media entertainment has long coached immature couples to look for the big red EASY button.  They oversell the unrealistic expectations knowing the outcome is likely to be disastrous. 

So how are we to have a fruitful, happy, faithful and ever lasting marriage: the Do’s and Don’ts of what needs to be done?  What to say, what not to say; what to do, what not to do and so on? 

Dorothy Nevill once quoted, “The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” A subtle way to say actions speak louder than words.  Countless relationship experts say actions are more important than words, and more important than actions is the motive that drives us to act.  

The Chaldean faith teaches us that marriage is a sacred vocational act.  However, not everyone gets married because they are committed to one another and willing to build a family. 

Successful married couples believe that a marriage is more than just two people coming together to live.   They faithfully and strongly believe that their marriage is about sacrifice for the good of God. 

These Chaldeans deeply believe that they present themselves before the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in His home the church, to guide them and strengthen them.   

The starting point for successful Chaldean marriages is that the couples are completely and totally aware that it is not two people who come together, but three that become one. 

Once this is understood the couples will receive the miracles that take place when a new family of faith is born: the beauty here is clear… but not simple.

A wise woman once stated, “Love Is Sacrifice.”

 God modeled this truth to us by having His son sacrificed for our sins.  The very core of our faith teaches us that at the center of it all, love is sacrifice.  The couple must be willing to sacrifice if they want to have real love.  The couple must be willing to hand over their loving relationship into God’s care.  In return, the couple is placed on the true path to marital prosperity.

Another model that God provided us to follow is that every marriage and relationship of love between man and wife should fashion after St. Joseph and Our Blessed Mother Mary.  This family was an ever-faithful and devoted servant of God.  The Virgin Mother of Our Savior, and her husband, St. Joseph, adopted a predestined role as the foster father of Jesus Christ. 

The Holy Family’s life can guide hundreds of choices that Chaldean married couples make each day of their lives.  That is only if they set their ways to follow these two blessed saints as their ideal examples.

When one conjures up the idea of marriage, the first thing that usually comes to mind is, “Love.”   Unfortunately, the qualities of love in the context of marriage are rarely promoted in the mainstream.  Such as, trust, forgiveness, compassion, understanding, kindness, honesty, respect, fidelity, commitment, service, and responsibility.  It is difficult to embrace these characteristics without faith that there is something more important than our own self-interest and immediate gratification.  It is faith that allows us to endure.  It was faith that encouraged St. Joseph to remain married to St. Mary.  It was faith of the Holy Family to endure harsh conditions of their journey.  Through that faith Love was born.  Through our faith Love is born. 

Marital commitment is not a contract; it is a willingness to proclaim to everyone and God that we have now matured and are prepared to look beyond our own self-interest.  We openly accept the responsibility to reject our own desires when they conflict with the desires of God or our spouse.    Only when this is done does a Chaldean house become a Chaldean home.

We must accept marriage as a Sacrament in life, a blessing from God and a union to Him through our faith.   Radiate your joy and love to the people around you and bring them to your level of mind, your state of peace. Allow them to see the true meaning of love in your marriage.  Marriage is not for the sake of “being married,” but to create and build a Chaldean Catholic family, whose roots will be at home and the blossom of the family buds will be returned to God’s garden. 



Evon Elias is an Oakland University, Michigan student with a deep understanding and interest in religious and spiritual matters. Ms. Elias writes for and publishes her work in the religious and spiritual section of the community website.  Comments regarding this article or suggestions for future articles can be sent to or directly to Ms. Elias at

St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  

Rev. Frank Kalabat

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.


Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.