Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tell Him, "I still do!": A Challenge for Wives

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Christie's Note: You may be asking yourself, "Why is she posting marital advice on an apologetics blog?" Marriage is the first and foremost place where you put your Catholicism into action. You serve God first by serving your closest neighbor--your spouse. You witness to the world the wonder and awe of the unity of the Persons of the Trinity by becoming one through the Sacrament of Marriage. Your home and family is the Garden of Holiness where God cultivates us for Heaven. The family is where it is at, my friends. It's where the action is. Think on this: isn't it easier to be the Good Samaritan to our neighbor, but to our spouse? Sometimes it's hard to even remember to be polite. Where the challenge is greatest, there is where you draw the line and hunker down. There is where you engage the enemy and where you must fight the battle against temptation, weakness, sin, and Satan himself. He is the Father of Lies and he has been after marriage since the beginning of time. Fight back with this, your first battle strategy...

Here's a challenge I'd like to share with you. It is counter cultural in the extreme--it's all about treating your husband with respect.

Your husband, personally, may or may not deserve respect, but then again, you may not either. If you waited to respect each other until either of you behaved up to a certain standard, respect could become rare indeed! Respect in a marriage is more about honoring the office of spouse than a particular spouse. Your particular spouse may be driving you crazy, but because of who you are, and what God set up marriage to be, you need to behave as if your spouse deserves the best from you. Your husband is a child of God, after all, so although he may or may not deserve your best, He deserves it. Think of it this way, God is your Father-in-law and he can see exactly how you are treating His child. You need to behave accordingly.

And since you are God's child as well, you need Him to worry about making sure your husband takes care of you in the same way. Treating your spouse well, without worrying about being treated well in return, is an act of Faith--not in your spouse, but in God. He will pour out Grace upon the woman who acts in such faith. Even if it is the Grace to endure while He works on your husband a bit more.

From speaker, author, and mom, Sheila Wray Gregoire To Love Honor and Vacuum

A Challenge

For the last few weeks we've been talking about how to radically transform your marriage by focusing on meeting his needs--rather than waiting for him to meet yours. I issued a challenge to all of you to do these five things for six weeks, and see what happens:

1. Thank your husband once a day for something (try to make it something different each time)
2. Compliment your husband to your mother, your children, your friends, whatever, within earshot of your husband, every chance you get.
3. Do not nag.
4. Do not give the silent treatment.
5. Make love with relative frequency (say at least 2-3 times a week).

Try it and let me know how it goes...if he notices?...if he responds? I'd love to know. I've been slipping on my personal version of this challenge, so I'm taking it as a wake-up call. This is going to be my focus for Lent this year. 

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