I'm not sure at what point I won't feel a bit silly writing about marriage but, at two months in, I still feel unqualified to give advice. But then I thought that I can write about what I know, and I do know what it's like to be married for two months. I know, I'm stretching here. But I love marriage and I want to scream it from the rooftops. Since that's socially unacceptable, the next best thing is to blog about the joys of marriage... particularly, the joys of keeping God at the center of it!
The first photo we ever took together, in January of 2010 shortly after we began dating.
I thought I would address the importance of involving God in the beginning of your marriage. Many couples already do this, and you can certainly read on, but this might feel like common knowledge. But I also know there are couples who sort of float along in their faith until children come, and that's when they really dive in. Steven and I have had many conversations in the past two months as we continue to explore his new faith (he came into the church on Easter Sunday, and we got married the next Saturday!), and my reverted faith (we dove in head first after our weekend engagement retreat last fall- yes it was THAT powerful!).
My favorite place to pray at our engagement retreat!
The conversations we've had revolve around the fact that we find it so important to have our faith be as much of our everyday life as possible before children arrive, so that they see it from the beginning. We don't want to realize that our child is 5 and uhoh, we should probably start praying before all meals. Or that our child is 10 and oh no, we should probably begin encouraging them to go to confession. So we have been working on what we want our faith to look like in day to day life. And what's even more important than having it 'figured out' before kids come, is that we know any thing we do for God will bless our marriage. And really, marriage can use all the blessings it can get! We want to grow together in our faith as newlyweds, so that we stay strong together in our faith when we have been married for many years. We have far to go, but we feel like we are laying the groundwork for a life together in Christ by starting our marriage off with Him at the focus of it.
Minutes after Steven proposed to me at the Biltmore House in Asheville
So here are a few things we are doing as newlyweds to grow in faith together:
- Daily devotions- We have a particular fondness for Novenas, and we are also going through The Love Dare book.
- Daily readings- At first, this was the only thing we did (we started this last winter), but we felt like we weren't really growing from it and were beginning to go through the motions. So now we do daily readings on the nights Steven closes at work and we can't go to bed together.
- Rosary- This is somewhere we need to improve. We both enjoy the rosary, and said we wanted to say at least one a week. We are in constant awe of those that do it daily and hope we can get closer to that frequency at some point. Right now, weekly remains the goal.
- Prayers before all meals together- Next I want us to work on prayers before all meals regardless of whether we are together or not (lunches at work, etc)
- Finding Catholic friends- We are lucky to have found two local couples through Cathsorority. It is SO nice to spend time with couples with the same faith goals as yours!
- And of course NFP- It has seriously blessed our relationship in so many ways, and even more so now that we are married! Our communication is on a different level and I can only imagine the difference we will see as we continue using NFP throughout our marriage, if we are seeing this many blessings so early on!
- One thing we really want to improve is our attendance at confession. Our new goal is to go at least once per month. Our previous goal was quarterly and we haven't been meeting it, but we are still going to push ourselves to go monthly instead, after talking about just how important it is.
So glad to be husband and wife!!!
We are absolutely loving being married and seeing what God has in store for us. It has been so nice having couples who have been married for 30+ years show us by example (thanks to both of our parents!), and have older married couples give us the sweetest marriage advice. We know that the best advice of all is to keep God at the center of everything we do, and we stumble a lot, but it's nice to know that we have one another to give a helping hand!
What are some ways you grow in your faith with your spouse (or your betrothed)?
Stacy is a newlywed who blogs at Catholic and Crunchy about married life, PCOS, NFP, frugality, and being crunchy!