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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Marriage Monday : Sharing Our Faith In Marriage

Hello Marriage Monday sisters! I wish you all a Happy New Year and all of God's blessings. I am late with this post but that old adage of "better late than never" is still as relevant today as it ever was.

So, our topic this time around...Sharing our Faith in Marriage.

When I pondered this, the first thing that came to mind is the many, many people who enter marriage in differing stages of spirituality. If anybody reading this can honestly say that you were on the same page...congratulations to you! You are one of the fortunate ones.

During our courting days I realised that my husband did not have the same level of spiritual growth that I had, but I wasn't a burning ember myself so his wanting to stand outside of an afternoon Mass with no singing and  me enjoying a two hour mass in my own parish didn't really phase me.

Early in our marriage, my faith blossomed and grew and I became passionate for Jesus Christ, while my husband's remained like an unwatered seed. My zeal was tempered by the needs of my young and growing family and I stopped attending prayer meetings and praise and worship sessions.   Some time later, my husband's faith bloomed and he was on fire for the Lord...I was in hibernation.
I resented that he was able to grow in faith and had the freedom to attend meetings and serve in the Church and be part of a prayer group, when I had given it all up to put the family first. This really hurt our marriage for a while...it didn't help that his zeal blinded him to how much he was NOT giving at home. The children all felt upset that he was not there for them, but giving of himself  to perfect strangers and I became all worked up every time I realised that he had an obligation outside of our home. Church became a dirty word in our house.  In case you didn't know it, this is a spirit of  religion which causes people to be overzealous in their church activities while other aspects of their lives deteriorate.

One day, after a few years of this, we realised that we were supposed to be in a faith partnership, each one encouraging and helping the other along the road to heaven. I had felt left behind while he had forged ahead and this was not what God wanted at all.

I believe that each spouse has the responsibility to boost the faith of the other. We may not worship in the same way, or serve in the same way...our spiritual walks are very personal ones,  but we need to pray together and for each other.

 We need to be united in the core of our faith in order to pray for our family, for our needs and to break any spiritual strongholds by using spiritual warfare. My husband chooses to serve the Church in a tangible way...I like to be in the background. I'm not comfortable being in the public eye, so though we both may write a piece for our parish newsletter, I wouldn't put my name on mine but he is well-known for his articles.

As we all know, there are many ways in which marriage is tested and passed through the fire. It is faith that is the anchor in these times when life's stormy seas toss us about.  There have been times when I am the weak one and it is my husband who will be the one to encourage and bolster my sagging faith. At other times, he is the one floundering and it is I who can be the strong one.

In summary, though we may not walk the path in exactly the same way, by holding hands on our journey, we are stronger... by walking together and allowing God to be the center of our marriage, we have the key to a faith that will see us through.  Standing on my own, I'm vulnerable, but with my husband's support I have accountability and stability and when you have the Lord as the Head of your marriage...you have a whole lot more!  Ecclesiasticus 4:12 "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken" 

Cord of Three Strands

There are many in spiritually unequal marriages...your spouse either does not share your faith at all, or has so little of it that you despair that he will ever be the spiritual head of your home. If somebody reading this happens to be in this position...do not despair!  Keep praying for your spouse.  My mother prayed for my father for nearly forty years. His conversion came about shortly before he died of cancer...too late for them to enjoy it together but just in time for him!  If you need a little encouragement, please consider visiting Lynn and Dineen over at http://www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com/. They are a wonderful duo of ladies in the same position and full of wisdom and encouragement for you.

Blessings to everyone until we meet next time!


e-Mom said...

A wonderful post! Thanks for letting us peek into your faith walk together. PTL you came to this critical realization in your marriage:

we realised that we were supposed to be in a faith partnership, each one encouraging and helping the other along the road to heaven.

Thanks for joining us for Marriage Monday, Lisa Maria. I didn't give much warning, so we're off to a slow start for 2013. However, I thought I should get the ball rolling, rather than wait another week or two.

Blessings, e-Mom

Nicole said...

A priest once said to me, a spouse's job is to get the other to heaven. True? Yes. Simple? No. I am in that unequal camp and so often wish my husband would take on the leadership role. During times of stronger faith I am not so phased and am confident, but those difficult moments? I would be lying if I said that frustration and even bitterness were absent. Thank you for the link. I will have to check it out.

Miriam Pauline said...

Great post! No two people are ever exactly at the same place spiritually but to be on the path together should be our goal. Thanks for the reminders.

nice A said...

You're right in saying we have similar posts. However, your husband has become more actively involved in the church. Mine is still in the process of growing.
I'm very glad though that it's not too late for us to enjoy our spiritual walk together. It was really my wish when I was still single to have a family that prays together. Although it didn't come true right away at the early stage of our marriage, I'm grateful to God He wonderfully worked it out for me.

Lisa Maria said...

Thank you e-Mom and the MM ladies...I look forward to our next session together.

Nicole...praying for you both.

Dominika said...

Lisa Maria, thank you so much for this post. My husband is a non-believer but I keep praying for him. St Monica and St Rita are my inspirations and I hope some day God will grant both of us this blessing and awake my husband's heart, so that we can walk together towards Him.It's great to know I'm not alone. I'll definitely check that link. Greetings!

Tami Boesiger said...

I like how you say faith is the anchor in the tough times. Amen, sister! Faith causes us to act rightly, even when our emotions don't concur.