A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

After the Wedding

Posted on: August 28, 2015

We put effort into a laundry list of things:

  • raising our children
  • working at or outside the home
  • keeping up with chores in and around the house
  • attending church functions and serving at Mass
  • keeping in touch with family and friends
  • exercising and eating right (or at least trying to)

How much effort do we put into having a healthy marriage?

We expect marriage to be as easy as falling in love is. Our culture conditions us to believe in a “happily ever after.” But there’s a reason books and movies don’t show us what happens once the boy gets the girl: a good marriage is something we have to work at.

If things get rough, our culture tells us, it’s okay to walk away. As Christians, we know that God intended otherwise, since he told us so in Genesis 2:24*:

Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Adam and Eve didn’t have an easy time of it; they were driven out of the garden of Eden for their sin (see Genesis 3), and their son Cain killed his brother Abel (Genesis 4). Noah and his wife lived through the great flood (Genesis 8). Abraham and Sarah left their home to settle in Canaan and dealt with famine (Genesis 12), war (Genesis 14), and infertility until the birth of Isaac in their old age (Genesis 21). All this in the first book of the Bible!

my grandparents

My grandparents faced the death of one daughter in infancy soon after losing several other close relatives, concern about his safety during his volunteer firefighter duties, and his health issues, but they faced these challenges together.

We shouldn’t expect our married life to be all sunshine and roses, either.

My husband and I have had our ups and downs, like when my son was colicky and my husband was working long hours, or when we spent several months seeing each other only on weekends as my son and I lived in one city trying to sell our house while my husband lived in our new home and worked in Ottawa.

Whether we face differences in parenting styles, illness, disability, family interference in our relationship, or some other challenge, we need to face the challenge as a couple and with God’s help, remembering that “A threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

And if we need advice, we need to find it in the right places, such as these:

I think the tagline on the cover of Sheila Wray Gregoire’s 9 Thoughts says it all: we need to work at marriage “Because a Great Relationship Doesn’t Happen by Accident.”

I pray that, whatever challenges we may face in married life, we would remember to keep God at the centre and seek his guidance as we work to keep our marriage alive and thriving.

(*Scripture quote and references taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)


Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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