"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it: That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish. So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the church: Because we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones."
Ephesians 5: 25-30 ( Douay-Rheims)
I would love to say that I always know when he is struggling or when I need to step up my affections in order for him to feel loved. I would love to tell you that I always pray for him when he crosses my mind. The truth: I don't. I allow the demands of everyday, the diaper changing, the laundry, the eating, etc. to get in between true priorities for my marriage. Not to mention all of the times I have allowed myself to give into the temptations of self-pity or anger of past hurts.
So, when Mary at Better Than Eden announced her intentions to complete a novena to St. Joseph for her husband, I was on board! Her words were the sharp reminder that I easily become complacent . Why not allow the Graces gained strengthen and lift up this man that God made for me! I even created a little pamphlet to print out and leave by my Rosary and Bible. Feel free to click over here to print it out and enjoy it!
When we were struggling as a couple two years ago and during our recent deployment, I prayed the Novena for the Family to St. Josemaria Escriva. I found his words challenge me to be openly receptive to my vocation as a wife. I was forced to redefine my expectations to that of God's truth for my marriage. My anger, my resentment did not leave automatically but melted away leaving a clear memory in which to refill with our best moments and room to create more.