I have been encountering SO MANY couples lately who are on the verge of divorce or who are dealing with serious problems. I've read some blogging about the MacFarlanes as an example of how no good Catholic marriage is safe from evil. But somehow I have seen that situation as being "other people". But when I begin to see people among my family and friends, who are faithful Catholic, homeschooling, Rosary-saying people going through huge problems, it begins to hit really close to home. When I see married friends just struggling not to kill each other and instead love each other on a daily basis, it saddens me.
My husband and I are very, very blessed. I don't know if it is just luck (but I know we don't believe in that), or if it because we have struggled so much financially so don't have time to struggle with our marriage, or if it because we got married so young and went into it with no expectations at all, so therefore had nothing to be disappointed in. Is it because we have a great amount of chemistry and think so alike on things it's a bit scary? Maybe it's because I let him watch his sports and actually can get into it with him, and he indulges my crazy TV habits (he's just as into Veronica Mars as I am). I don't know, but we haven't had too many struggles with each other. Well, there was that one time...
Yeah, you all thought I was going to go on a high-horse about how my marriage is so perfect, right? Not a chance, because that was a mistake I made a few years ago. I thought I was a good Catholic who keeps popping babies out left and right with a former seminarian/current youth minister as a husband, so I was immune, right?
Of course, out of honor to my marriage and just out of my non-of-your-business attitude I tend to have towards people, I won't share the details of the difficult times in my marriage. But I will say this, I know that God allowed us to struggle because we needed to recognize how vulnerable we were to the attacks of satan. I needed to see that no one is immune.
I experienced personal pride at times because when my husband would hurt me, I would turn around and think, "Oh, I must love him more because I would never do such a thing...I'm a better wife than he is a husband." A special priest gave me the warning, "There, but for the grace of God, go I." He tried to get me to get off my pride-pedastal that I put myself on. He didn't realize that God would do it Himself later when I began to struggle with my own things and realized, "Oh, my, I sure am not as good as I think I am."
So, lessons learned, right? Nope there is more. I began to think that my marriage was being attacked because of how special my marriage was and satan was trying to deter my husband and I from the great things we were going to accomplish. I confided this to a friend, who was gracious enough to knock me out of another disillusionment. She said something so profound. You ain't that special
. Come again? That's right, Satan is not going after me because we are the next Mary and Joseph. He goes after EVERYBODY! I actually thought satan gave a rip about me. I thought he feared
the impact I was going to have on the world. Satan couldn't care less who I was, he just wants me, and my husband, and my children, and everyone who is directly and indirectly affected my my marriage. He wants us all. And that's it.
So why not
think I'm so special with a personal mission and am the next God's-gift to earth and that's why Satan is attacking my marriage? Maybe I do have some special purpose in life? Well, once again, it's another pride-pedastal to put myself on. Tell me, in your search for God and all things holy, are you more likely to passionately search through every nook and cranny of your soul to get to God if you think you are in desperate
need of our Lord, or will you still seek with such fervor if you think you are hand-picked by our Lord with some special gift no one else has? Why seek God if you think you already have Him in your back pocket? Why prepare, when you already have what it takes? Why pray for God to make you stronger, if you think you are already strong enough.
Granted, all of you might not be like this, but I sure am. I don't want to fall into the same trap again of thinking I am immune from attack and temptation. I want to remember how weak and human
I can be when I am not alert. And I want every other good Catholic married person to know this as well.
Sure, we all tell ourselves these words, but do we really believe it? How many of us wives kneel down in prayer for our husbands not just once a day, but throughout
the day? How many wives pray for their husband to be a good husband, to be a good father? How many wives pray often for her husband's abilities in his job, his virtues as a friend, his purity in his sexuality, his faithfulness to prayer, or his honor as a son to his parents? How many husbands offer up continually that their wives may be sustained throughout the day in her duties, in her wisdom as a mother disciplining their children, in her growth in knowledge of our Lord, or in her charity towards those in need?
How many of us fast for our marriages? Offer up Rosaries and novenas regularly? Offer up our Mass for our marriages?
How many of us go on marraige retreats? And how many of us avoid those same retreats because we think, "My marriage isn't in trouble. Why do I need to go on a reatreat to fix it?"
When we have a "good Catholic marriage", do we pray to God to fix our marriage? I know I don't. But why not? Who ever told us that we weren't broken?
We are all broken, and so are our marriages. We need to know that so we are prepared to face it when satan decides to show us how broken we really are, and then attempts to break us some more.
I am hoping to re-read one of my favorite books "The Power of a Praying Wife,"
because it was one of the best tools I have ever encountered for my marriage. Just another step towards breaking my good/happy/broken/vulnerable marriage, until my husband and I reach the place where marriage is no longer necessary.