Before the wedding, the best test of how good your marriage will be is a stressful situation faced together. The bigger the stress, the better the test. Do you grow closer during difficult times or do they drive you apart with arguments and hurt feelings? After the wedding, stressful situations are a good test of how well we rely on God’s help together.
Ralph and I squabble, perhaps more often than you do. But when Hurricane Irma headed straight toward us, we became a closely united team as we prepared. We both remembered the emotional and spiritual needs of the other, and with the help of God we gave comfort and patience to each other while dealing with an overwhelming amount of work and decisions and fears.
This is the power of the Sacrament of Marriage. Christ is present and provides supernatural patience, supernatural guidance, and supernatural strength to get us through every difficulty.
Before the storm arrived, we asked the Lord to post holy angels at every door, window, and outer wall to shield our house from wind damage. We even posted angels along the electric lines. Praise God, we never lost power and the only damage done to the house were the loss of a few list roof shingles. (Oops, we forgot to post angels on the roof. LOL!)
After the center of the storm passed around 1 a.m., we went to bed and feel asleep from exhaustion. We spent the next day resting. But the following morning, when we expected to begin the cleanup process, we awoke to discover that Irma wasn’t finished with us yet. Neighborhood runoff from the storm’s heavy rains pooled in our yard on its way to a flooded nearby river. We now had another day of hard work and stressful decision-making to prepare the first floor of our home for water intrusion. Again, by the grace of God, we worked as a squabble-free team.
We watched the flood waters rise closer and closer to the house. Very nerve-wracking! And yet we felt the grace of God unite us again.
Stress can easily turn couples against each other. It’s common to release the pressure of stress by venting anger upon our sweetheart. I suppose there are couples who don’t have a sacramental marriage yet who handle stress together well. But a sacrament — the active, helpful presence of Christ — makes it so much easier!
The flood came within five feet of our house. As we slept peacefully in love, the waters began to recede. Today we are thanking God together for his protection and the holy angels. And we are very grateful for the sacrament that helped us feel more united than ever before.
I’d like to go a little off-topic now to share with you another way that God provided help. My right knee is getting older than the rest of me. A few hours of housework or too much time walking makes it hurt rather painfully. Before the storm and after, I pushed myself through a lot of hard manual labor. And yet, praise the Lord, my knee did great! Jesus healed my knee. Not permanently, but while I needed to work strenuously at my husband’s side.
- How do I treat my beloved when I’m under stress?
- What do I want from my beloved when he/she is under stress? How well have I expressed this to him/her?
Strengthen your relationship:
When have you endured a very difficult, stressful situation together? What do you like about how it was handled? What would you like to do differently with your sweetheart during a future stress? Pray together asking Jesus to become more present in your relationship with each other.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries