Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Are you thankful for your marriage?

I am eternally grateful for my husband, Craig.

The main reason I am where I am today is because of him.  Without Craig, I do not think I would be alive.  He has done so much for me these past few years.

He listens when I need to talk.  He is there for me when I need to cry.  He supports me in whatever I do.  And he lets me know he loves me and will never leave me no matter what.

During the toughest of times, he was very good at making himself available when I needed him – that means he truly listened, looked me in the eyes, and was not distracted by television, the iPad, his phone, or time constraints.  And if I felt like I needed to, I could call him at work.

Before we got to that point, I tried to pull myself up by my own boot straps.  I thought that I had to do it alone.  I got myself into this mess, so I have to get myself out.  Needless to say, I had some trust issues.  But, in some way, I think we all have trust issues.  Ingrained in our fallen human nature is the tendency to want to do it our own way all by ourselves.

But that thinking is so wrong and is why so many people fail in recovery.  We’re not meant to do it alone.

Most people treat marriage like college roommates – each going about his/her own life, only to meet up when their paths cross in the living space.  But marriage is so much more.  When you see it as it is, marriage is a very humbling experience.  You have to be vulnerable.  In order to have a good marriage, you must admit you can’t do it alone.  Once you allow your spouse to take care of you, you will understand your vocation of married life more fully.

God unites spouses in marriage because He knows that is the way they’ll get to Heaven.  This is the point of the vocation of marriage.  God brought Craig and I together because without him, I would not make it to Heaven, and without me, Craig would not make it either.  Each and every marriage contains this sacramental reality.

Whether or not you struggle with a mental illness, this is so important to think about.

In order to get to Heaven, you HAVE to learn how to ask for help and to ACCEPT help when help is given.

No matter what your situation is like, if you do not depend on your spouse, you cannot get to Heaven.  So often I see this attitude of prideful independence or some people might call it the “martyr syndrome”.  If you adopt an attitude of “I don’t need”, your marriage will not help you get toward your ultimate end.  Of course, our culture will tell you the opposite; you must be independent and you cannot rely on anyone but yourself.  Can you see how this philosophy is damaging marriages?

A good marriage can show us how we are supposed to relate to God.  God wants us to completely depend on Him for everything.  And He wants us to grow in faith through relationship and community.

So, with the true meaning of marriage in mind, let us consider “happiness”.  If you are relying on your spouse to make you ultimately happy, then you will be disappointed.  God created us for eternal life; nothing will make us truly happy besides being united to Him.  As Saint Augustine once said, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, Oh Lord”.

Conclusively, living out your vocation of marriage means depending on your spouse to help you on this earthly journey.  Depend on God for your eternal happiness in the next life.

If this made any sense (hopefully it did, sometimes I think I get too philosophical), during this Thanksgiving week, take some time to express gratitude toward your spouse – and of course, God too.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful, Mary. And your marriage is too. Thank you for reminding me that it's okay to ask your spouse for help and to accept it when given.