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Monday, May 2, 2011

Marriage Monday - Sharing our Spiritual Journey

Today is a Marriage Monday link up over at Chrysalis. E-Mom has given us the theme of Faith.. how do we as a couple share our faith and spiritual journey.

Firstly, let me share a line from my wedding vows (which I wrote myself) "I give you my soul that its faith may be your inspiration". Standing on its own it may seem a little strange, but taken in the context of the whole, it is simply my acknowledging my belief that God had fashioned this soul to be joined with his and his to be joined with mine. This was my promise to share my faith and spiritual journey with my husband.

Unfortunately, this didn't happen right away. I was anointed in the Spirit early in our marriage. My faith underwent a drastic change and I was fired with new love and zeal for the Lord. I found that my husband was not ready to share this new life in the Spirit with me.

I had one daughter and was pregnant with another at the time. Having young children soon kept me from continuing fellowship meetings and my responsibilities at home had to take precedence over anything I wanted to do to become more deeply involved in church. I continued my spiritual journey with the Lord without that fellowship and group support.

About nine years later, my husband was anointed in the Spirit and his zeal was like rocket fire! He quickly became actively involved in church, joining prayer groups, teaching the faith to young people and even becoming a Eucharistic Minister. I am ashamed to say that I found myself jealous of how much he was involved and resentful at the 'loss' of my own joy and zeal to serve the Lord.

God in His amazing and incomprehensible way, used a great and painful trial in our marriage to catapult us onto the same path. It has taken many years, but we are finally journeying together. I have come to accept how my role as mother and homemaker must  take precedence. The needs of my family must always come before anything I do outside of the home. My husband supports me and encourages me and it is on his advice that I started my blog. This is my way of ministering and evangelizing.

Likewise, my husband has learned that he needs to balance what he gives to the church with the needs of our family. He knows  that he has my full support now and he now discusses with me anything he feels led by the Spirit to do.  He will always be more actively involved, serving at our Masses and attending meetings, but where it counts most, our spiritual journey is a shared one.

Meanwhile, we try to pray together every morning and every night, short prayers, asking God's blessing and protection for each other for the day and thanking Him for all his blessings at night. On Sundays we spend more time on in-depth prayer for the needs of our family and others, for God's blessing and instruction for the week.

We both attend daily Mass.. separately unfortunately, as he has to go early in the morning before work and I go after I've dropped our youngest to school.  When I am weak, my husband prays for me and I for him when he is the one who needs it. Very often we anoint each other and pray for health and healing of any infirmities. My husband likes to bless each one of us when we leave the home.. sometimes time doesn't permit, but a father's blessing is so important.

I know that my husband appreciates the fact that, as a SAHM I can spend extra time in prayer and when he's having a bad day or needs prayer support he'll call me and say "pray for me because so and so is happening". It is often in my own meditation that God speaks to us through  my heart.

He reminds me often that I'm the heart of the home and my husband the head. I present what I receive from God to him and he decides where we go from there. We pray about anything that we believe was placed on my heart for us to act upon.  Basically,  I receive but my husband is the one who acts and makes decisions. His role as provider makes it challenging for him to spend a lot of time in prayer and meditation.

 I believe that the sacredness of  the matrimonial state is the strongest bond for a unity of spirituality. God constantly reminds me that it is in our unity that our strength lies and we can do wonderful works for Him if we work together. It is my belief that He sees us as a single unit, our souls as one for scripture tells us in several places that the two become one .. Genesis 2:24, Matt 19:5, Mark 10:7-8, Ephesians 5:31, Malachi 2:15. 

At the moment, this is how we journey. Our roles are different but together we make the whole.We feel like together we're a strong team.. when we pray for others, there's always a strong sense of the Spirit working. Someday our season of life will turn over and our roles may change. We maybe able to do more together. This is where God has us for now. This is how we glorify Him.
We both feel that God is calling us and preparing us for some ministry in which we will work together. We are still unsure of what that is yet, but based on where we're being led so far, we feel pulled in the direction of marriage ministry. We are looking at joining the Marriage Preparation team at our church. We'll see what God has in store for us when He's ready. He has a great way of opening doors when the time is right!

If you get nothing else from this very long post ;-) I hope you get this:

  • Your marriage is sacred in the eyes of God.. we are obligated to uphold such sanctity. I believe that God uses a holy marriage for His Glory.
  • God will use you in whatever state you are in, whatever your vocation. Ask God what He wants your role to be and accept that it may not be what you desire. In my marriage, I have a spiritual role that is more supportive than active. God may be calling you in your marriage to play a more active role.
  • Sometimes our roles have to change as time goes by.. God may wish to move us from an inactive to active role or vice versa. Consider Judith in the Old Testament.
  • If you are in a spiritually unequal marriage, don't give up your faith and don't give up Hope. God will not stop pursuing your spouse. Keep praying!
  • Prayer changes things.. even if it doesn't happen in your timing, it will happen in God's timing, which is always perfect!
 I pray God's blessings on your own spiritual journey with your spouse. May he bless your marriage abundantly! Shine on, shine strong for Jesus!

Also linked to:


Constance said...

I believe that there should be seasons in our lives as well as in our marriages. The key to being happy is to recognize that where you are is exactly where God wants you to be! Back when I was a SAHM a lot of times I felt so insignificant but I placed my faith in God and trusted His will for our family. Now with our children all grown up, I look back and realize just how significant being a SAHM was for our family! I am thankful for that gift that God and my husband were able to provide for our family! Now there is more Dave and Connie time and I savor every moment of it! We are avid hikers and on one of our trips to Yosemite National Park there is a feature called "Faithful Couple" tree. It is 2 Giant Sequoia trees that grew next to one another and have fused into one tree! I LOVE that!

Lisa Maria said...

Thank you Connie for your encouragement. There is so much truth in your statement."The key to being happy is to recognise that you are exactly where God wants you to be! If we could just learn to accept that truth we would all be happier.. sometimes it just takes a little while for truth to 'dawn'.:)

The 21st Century Housewife© said...

Thank you for such an honest, heartfelt and meaningful post. You raise some incredibly important points - and some very encouraging ones too.

Kristin Bridgman said...

I love reading about your marriage, it sounds wonderful! :)
I'm thinking you would be awesome in the Marriage Preperation. Every young couple could benefit from the wisdom and experience of the older, more mature, more experienced couple.
Not that your old:) Just very mature :)
By the way. . .you can hop on that plane and come camp out at my haven anythime!

e-Mom said...

Awesome post! I'm excited by your shared faith. As a couple, it sounds like you are and will be used mightily by the Lord.

Thanks for joining us for Marriage Monday today, Lisa Maria. ღ

Mac an Rothaich said...

So true. My husband and I had to learn to be content in God and then respect one another and where we were at before we started to be on the same page really. Thanks for sharing.

"Ima" said...

This was a great encouragement to me. As close as I am with my husband, this is one area that I struggle with-praying together. I'm not sure why-I think it is the one thing with him that makes me feel the most vulnerable. Strange I know. Thank you for the challenge and encouragement. I do so want to get better in this area. Feel free to ask anytime how I'm doing with this :)

Lisa Maria said...

Thank you ladies.. it means alot to have your encouragement.

@ Ima.. its never too late to start. Truthfully our spiritual journey together didn't really begin properly until we were already married 20 years! Praying together as a couple has increased our faith and yes.. it does somehow expose your vulnerabilities because you are 'naked' before God and each other, showing your need and your brokenness sometimes.

@ e-Mom.. thank you! Coming from you that's a huge compliment!

@Kristin...that's the second time you've said that and I appreciate your faith in me. :)

Love & Blessings to all of you!