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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sharing Faith in Marriage

I'm joining with a group of wonderful ladies in doing this Marriage Challenge over at Courtney's place. I find that one can never stop trying to create new life in marriages...especially when you hit the 23 year mark as we will next month!  If you look over at the side bar you will see some other great marriage challenges that you can try.  Its a new year...time for us all to try on some new attitudes!

This article was originally written for the Marriage Monday community on the topic of...Sharing our Faith in Marriage. If you would like to you can click on the link below to visit with the other MM ladies...lots of wisdom in this community!

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!

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