Every marriage experiences earthquakes: The shifting of moods, ideas, and expectations. The loss of a job or good health or someone who’s dear to us. The circumstances that change everything. How do these shake-ups affect our relationship with our sweetheart? And how do we restore stability?
Scripture tells us to cling to our beloved (Genesis 2:24). Problem is, earthquakes disrupt whatever has been going smoothly in our relationship. We’re more vulnerable and therefore more likely to argue. We’re more easily upset by the littlest faults. And we’re distracted away from the needs and desires of our beloved.
Life’s earthquakes are when we need each other the most. We can regain a sense of stability by choosing to remember that our beloved is not the cause of the quaking. Even if he/she is at the epicenter of the quake, something else is underneath the source of the damage.
Hold hands. During the worst times of my marriage with Ralph, we held onto our love by holding onto each other’s hand. Even when we couldn’t speak to each other without feeling hurt and misunderstood, we held hands. Especially during Mass. Today, we still hold hands in church and we walk side by side to receive the Eucharist — as a reminder of the importance of clinging to each other, a symbol of our unity, and a witness to others.
Pray together. We argue most when one or both of us have not yet covered the discussion in prayer. Prayer opens us to the Holy Spirit’s guidance on what’s the true cause of the quaking and what to do about it. Praying together, out loud, using our own words to connect with God, brings a sense of peace, reassurance, and hope. It helps us to remember together that God is the only true source of stability. We keep from falling by clinging to each other while at the same time leaning on Christ.
- What earthquake am I feeling today (or recently, or what I might soon have to face)? How am I clinging to my sweetheart or pushing him/her away?
- What earthquake is shaking up my beloved today? Am I making matters worse by blaming him/her? What might be underneath it that is not his/her fault?
Strengthen your relationship:
Describe to your beloved what a recent shake-up feels like to you. Next, describe how it feels to know the other’s reassurance and caring support. Then pray together, asking the Holy Spirit to guide you both to safety and stability. Lastly, describe the hope you feel from praying together.
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© 2016 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries