When I was a teenager (and up until my dad died when I was in my late twenties), he always stressed how important it was to date catholic men. My husband reminds me from time to time of that Thanksgiving Day when my dad asked him point blank, "So are you Catholic?" To be honest, back then the faith and religious denomination of the guys I dated was the last thing on my mind. Rolling the clock ahead to today...oh what wisdom my dad possessed! I cannot tell you the numerous ways today that I am so very grateful to have married a catholic man that shares my faith!
Marrying someone of the same faith has facilitated so many areas and major decisions in my adult life and in my husband’s life; to name a few our family traditions are in sync, there is no question that we attend mass every weekend as a family, in fact our weekend is planned around attending 4:30 mass on Saturday! We pray together as a family before dinner, not only do we say grace but my husband implemented a new plan a few years ago in which we go around the table before we say grace each taking a take a turn to thank God for one thing, one person, one situation that we are grateful that day. It is such a powerful, beautiful tradition that honors our Lord and humbles us as a family on a daily basis. Prayer extends to bedtime. I typically pray with our children at bedtime, sometimes reading from the Bible or from a daily devotional.
Another reason I am so grateful for marrying a catholic man is that when we had children there was never a question in what faith we would raise them. It wasn’t a question of whether we would Baptize our kids, but when. The same with them receiving their First Communion, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and our son was recently Confirmed. Just as our parents did, we are sacrificing and sometimes even struggling to send our children to Catholic schools. Our children learning about God during the school day is way more important than a new fancy sports car in our driveway or a larger home! After all, we are talking about our children who have souls and not some car that will end up in a junk yard someday!
It is so peaceful, so unifying to be in sync with my husband about to how to raise our children and about our spiritual traditions and beliefs. And all of this trickles down to our marriage. Being united with my husband on these extremely important issues that are intertwined with our spirituality, with our core beliefs and morals for ourselves and for our children is, I have to believe a major reason why our marriage is so successful.
I once heard a priest say that our goal for our spouse should be that they spend eternity in heaven! Wow! Talk about a game-changer! Instead of looking at my marriage and my spouse and asking my self questions such as "what can I get out of it?" or "what has he done for me lately?" When my life's goal and questions becomes, "how can I help my husband get to heaven?", suddenly my self-centered questions change to "how can I love my husband today in a way that demonstrates God's love? "What simple acts of kindness can I do to make my husband's day better?" "How can I build my husband up with words of truth, kindness and love?"
Even without words there are so many ways I feel that God calls me to model His love to my husband. Because my husband is Catholic, he is not too surprised if he sees me paging through the Bible or reading a devotional. He has now become accustomed to seeing my Rosary changing spots around our home. I believe that God uses these nonverbal examples for speaking to my spouse too! As St. Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the Gospel at all times, only when necessary use words."
Thank you Dear Lord for my awesome catholic husband, marriage and children!
Theresa G. is fascinated by the topics of God, spiritually and the Catholic Church. As her faith and knowledge about these topics grow, her desire to write about them grows as well. Maybe you will be able to relate to one of her articles and maybe they will affect you in a positive way!