I am struggling to write about the topic of marriage, and I can’t quite understand why it is so difficult. I don’t consider my husband and I to be struggling in our marriage by any stretch, but the onion layers are very difficult to pull back.
Looking at myself, as a contributing partner in the marriage can be pretty difficult.
And, at times, the view can be pretty ugly.
St. Josemaria Escriva is quoted with saying,
Marriage is to help married people sanctify themselves and others. For this reason, they receive a special grace in the sacrament which Jesus Christ instituted. Those who are called to the married state will, with the grace of God, find within their state everything they need to be holy.
The truth is,
I stink at marriage.
I think I’m decently good at being a mother, but when it comes to being married? There is a lot of room for improvement.
The more I have been reflecting on my marriage, the more I have decided we all stink at marriage, at one time or another.
Becoming a saint, or a soul who lives with God in heaven, takes some serious commitment. It takes dedication. It takes courage and integrity. It takes a lot of love.
The process isn’t for the faint of heart, and it certainly isn’t easy!
As such, marriage is a vocation – a calling by God, to a certain state in life. And, through that state, we are called toward sanctification.
More often than I care to admit, I feel as though I prioritize everything else ahead of my marriage – the kids, the house, the dogs, my blog, and everything in between. Knowing that, and knowing my end goal of my life is to join the angels and saints in heaven, to adore God, I am faced with two choices:
- I can continue stinking at marriage; or,
- I can do something about it – every. day. every. hour. every. minute.
Every day, I am called by my vows to cherish my husband, to love him, and to honor our marriage.
Instead of allowing myself to be complacent in my marriage, and putting everything else before my marriage, I am called to be intentional of my vows and commitment.
So, while I stink at marriage today, and I don’t necessarily like the image of myself as a wife in the mirror on a daily basis, I choose every day to be more intentional.
I choose to be more mindful of the ways I can achieve sanctification through this vocation.
And, I choose to be grateful I have a partner with whom to walk this process toward sanctification; for, if I were to travel the road toward sanctification on my own, I would imagine the journey would be rather lonely.
4 thoughts on “The Journey Toward Sanctification”
Good for you, Annie, for looking straight at yourself and recognizing a difficult truth. Marriage, not motherhood, is the vocation, yet the pressures-that-be do enforce a sort of tyranny of urgency that often makes us put our marriages last. One thing that is helpful to me is intentionally preparing for my husband’s return home at the end of the work day. For me that looks like having dinner underway and a bit of quiet time while he’s on his way so that I am ready to engage with him. With little ones about, perhaps that looks like picking up toys and setting the table/having baths/reading together quietly so that your husband is met with calmness rather than “please take these children before I go crazy.” As for dinner prep (a serious sign of being prepared for a guy’s arrival, at least according to my husband), what can you put in the crockpot during nap time?
Oh!! Great idea about the crockpot during nap time!!
I have been trying to be more concerted about having things ready before my husband comes home from work – Little Miss, though, seems to have a witching hour that always coincides with my making dinner. So, the crockpot might just come in handy for that…!