Lead article from the March 2016 bulletin, online now.
This month my wife an I have been hosting the Marriage in Christ seminar. Its been a great time for us to reconnect as a couple and put a focus back on our marriage. Too often I find myself looking at my wife as the mother of my children and not the person that I joined into the holy sacrament of marriage with. Our kids are young so it's easy to make being a parent the top priority in our relationship. What we forget is that our commitment to each other goes much deeper than being parents. Eventually our children will grow up, leave the house, and start families of their own. Where does that leave us as a couple when this happens? If we can't find time to grow our relationship we will find that we lost each other somewhere along the journey of parenting. In my case (assuming my youngest leaves the house at 18) our parenting journey will last 33 years. That sounds like a long time (and it is), but the reality is we will still be in our early 50s when we find ourselves back where we started, one man and one woman. That leaves a lot of life left to live together if we forget how to enjoy each others company without parenting being the main focus.
My wife can send me into an angry tailspin faster than anything else in this world. But...she can also pull me out of one just as quick. She knows me and all the idiosyncrasies that come with me, and I hers. The ability to tap right into someone's emotions is dangerously powerful and doesn't just happen overnight. Its shows how ingrained the two of you have become as a couple. Don't let this be a bad thing, embrace the fact that you are one body in God's eyes. Men, your responsibilities in life are (in this order): God, Marriage, Children, and then somewhere further down the line, Career. When things get difficult: step back, assess your priorities, and put them back in order.
When did you fall in love with your spouse? What is it about her that made you know she was the woman you wanted to spend the rest of your life with? I challenge you to tell her the answers to these two questions this month and see where that conversation leads you.
Joe Van Hoorik