Many Catholics grow up hearing the importance of praying and listening for God’s calling. For young boys, it might be priesthood and young girls to be nuns. We are taught how important these jobs are and that they are becoming more and more scarce. But growing up no one ever taught me that there are other vocations equally as important, one being the vocation of marriage.
When I was pregnant with Elise, Dustin and me attended a retreat. At the retreat, there was a couple that had been married for 20+ years. It was a smaller retreat, so after the speakers spoke there was a small Q & A portion. I distinctly remember the married couple talking about marriage as a vocation. “Marriage is one vocation people tend to forget about,” the husband said. “When you enter the sanctity of marriage you’re vowing to get your spouse to Heaven.”
After the retreat ended that one sentence stayed with me. Am I being the best wife? Am I doing everything I can do to support and help my husband get to heaven? Am I encouraging good habits that will not only strengthen our marriage but build a good foundation for our children? That no matter what comes our way we will have such a strong bond and keep our marriage protected that nothing could harm us? I realized I was not doing these to the best of my ability and I needed to get to work!
Encourage Good Habits
Dustin and I loved listening to audio CDs in the car of speakers talking about a different number of topics. From talks breaking down important religious questions to marriage and raising kids. We heard it all. I loved these car rides because it helped us broaden our knowledge of different topics. It was so great to do it together as well because afterward we could discuss and share our thoughts. At the beginning of our marriage, it definitely helped bring up discussions that were important that we wouldn’t have discussed otherwise.
Taking Responsibility for Your Actions
We’ve all heard the saying, “When you point the finger at someone you have three fingers pointing back at you.” This is so true in every aspect of your life. But it’s so crucial to grasp in your marriage. The only person you can change is YOU! How you act and how you react in certain situations. Nowadays everyone is so quick to point the finger, to find someone else to blame. How about we take 100% responsibility for our actions. Are you not happy in your marriage? How can YOU change this? Being more attentive, listening to your spouse without interrupting, waking up every morning and asking your spouse, “What is one thing I can do to make your day better?”
Marriage is hard work. Everyone that is married can tell you that. But in a society that likes to take short cuts and find quick fixes, how about we really look within ourselves to see what we can do to strengthen our marriage. Marriage is a roller coaster ride that can take you through the highest of highs and lowest of lows. Our hope is that after the ride is over you will still have your best friend sitting next to you.