This summer I felt like God was calling me to write about marriage. I’ll admit, I was hesitant. Not because I didn’t want to write about marriage, but I knew that it also meant working on my marriage and implementing the things I wrote about. In September, I shared a post with 13 Top Tips on Marriage with contributions from women across the blogosphere with tips that helped them with their marriage. As I discussed the post on The Christian Circle podcast, I started to think about all the advice I wasn’t living out, especially the one I gave, the suggestion of the primary importance of praying with your spouse. My husband and I used to be really good at praying together, but as the years passed by, our couple prayer time morphed into bedtime and evening prayers with the kids. Our couple time became non-existent.
I knew God was nudging me to get back into this practice, but it was so much easier to put it off. Besides, I (wrongly) thought, we are just fine with our own prayer lives. At least I am praying, I told the Lord.
Then the levy broke… Anger, hurtful words and an unwillingness to forgive bust through one evening over a little misunderstanding. I knew this little tiff would have blown over quickly if we had done what God had been asking us to do and prayed together. However, instead of offering prayer and forgiveness, I simmered and stewed, giving my husband the cold shoulder for 24 hours until my he apologized. We made up, all was forgiven, but God kept on knocking at the door of my heart. He persisted (as he always does) and continued to send me the same message.
A few days later I went to confession and rattled off my regular litany of sins. As I breathed a sigh of relief after releasing all my faults to God, I was in complete shock what came out of the priest’s mouth next. “Are you praying with your husband?” he asked. I squirmed and tried to think of what to respond. I knew I couldn’t lie in the confessional!! “Well, we go to mass together,” I lamely replied, trying to justify my behavior. “Honestly, I usually fall asleep before my husband goes to bed.” I admitted our lack of couple prayer time and the priest gently reminded me of it’s importance, and how it would help us both be more patient and kind to one another. As I received absolution, I asked the Lord to help me do as he asked and begin to pray each night with my husband.
When I went home I had an email in my inbox from the Hail Marry Blog, asking me to review Waiting Together, an Advent Devotional for Catholic Couples.
“OK God – I get the message.”
He not only gave me the message, but also the tools he wanted us to use. I told my husband about my confession and the book, and he agreed to help do a little pre-advent preparation with this little gem of an a devotional for couples. Each day we read together the Word of God, discuss a few questions together, ponder a short reflection and end in prayers. It was perfect for us. I know Matt and I will continue to pray through this devotional this Advent season and I can already see it’s fruit. Whether you are already in the practice of praying together, a little rusty like us, or have never prayed together, I’d like to invite you to join us.
Advent is a time to draw closer to Jesus and your family. Give your marriage the gift of prayer this Advent season, and may you see the fruits of peace and joy in your home.
Read more about Waiting Together and purchase a download for only $10.00 at the Hail Marry Blog.