This month, I have spent a considerable amount of blogging time dedicated to marriage, and encouraging my readers (and myself) to focus more on the vocation of wife. At times, it’s quite easy to overlook my husband, as I shuffle from one activity to the next, one obligation to another, and just want to collapse in bed at the end of the day.
This last Friday, two readings at daily Mass struck me. The first was on friendship; the second one centered on marriage. I was also pleased to hear the priest focused his homily on how marriages should be built upon a foundation of friendship first. I could not help but consider how, all-too-often in our society, the friendship element of marriages is overlooked or forgotten, leading to couples (and by extension, their families) breaking apart.
Let those who are friendly to you be many,
but one in a thousand your confidant.
When you gain friends, gain them through testing,
and do not be quick to trust them.
For there are friends when it suits them,
but they will not be around in time of trouble.
Another is a friend who turns into an enemy,
and tells of the quarrel to your disgrace.
Others are friends, table companions,
but they cannot be found in times of affliction.
When things go well, they are your other self,
and lord it over your servants.
If disaster comes upon you, they turn against you
and hide themselves.
Stay away from your enemies,
and be on guard with your friends.
Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter;
whoever finds one finds a treasure.
Faithful friends are beyond price,
no amount can balance their worth.
Faithful friends are life-saving medicine;
those who fear God will find them.
Those who fear the Lord enjoy stable friendship,
for as they are, so will their neighbors be.
Translation provided by USCCB.org
After listening to the readings and taking a couple days to reflect upon them, I am convinced the Sacrament of Matrimony, a commitment between two humans and Our Divine Creator, must be built on the foundation of friendship! Moreover, just like other friendships, we must not shy away from nurturing and fostering that marital friendship at every opportunity.
In the thick of things, it’s easy to overlook the foundation of our families – our marriages. But, we must not let the weariness of our days, the demands of our jobs and lives, and our precious children get in the way of our primary vocation – as husbands and wives.
Sometimes, it means our dates will be at the kitchen table, surrounded by our children. Sometimes, it will require us to steal a quick glance, a generous word, or a graze of hands as we transition between one activity to the next. Sometimes, it will require us to gaze longingly at the pictures of our past – and truly contemplate the love we had in the beginning, and how it changes, and morphs into something we wouldn’t have recognized on our wedding days.
Marriages aren’t always easy. We don’t always have rainbows, stars in our eyes, over the moon euphoria.
Instead, we should keep in mind as we grow into our older years together – friendships change. With a respect for the commitment we made on our wedding day, respect for our story as a couple, and respect for friendship, we can watch our love deepen and unfold to find the most beautiful treasure in the world…
For, in the midst of marriages He is there.