“Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” (Luke 12: 48 NAB) This line from the Gospel stopped me dead in my tracks this morning as I read it. I have heard it several times before, but today it struck me in a different way. It led me to think about my marriage and family life.
God has given me much in my life and most days I am too busy and distracted to realize all these things as beautiful gifts. The thing in my life that I am most thankful for, next to my relationship with God, is my marriage. In our throw away society today, marriage is oftentimes seen as something we try out and if it does not work, we cut our losses and move on. This was never my intention when entering marriage and I waited quite a long time to meet the man I know God chose for me. I was twenty-six when God introduced me to the man, I now call my husband. While we were dating, engaged, and first married, I felt as though I was always thankful for God’s movement in my life when it came to my husband. Days turned to weeks, weeks to years, which lead to children and a very busy family life and my good intentions of always thanking God for my most prized gift, the gift of marriage, seemed to take a back seat. This was certainly not intentional, but it happened without me even realizing it was happening. This is what the devil desires, and he is so insidious.
In today’s world, it is devastating to me that people do not see marriage as the gift that it is! We chalk it up to fate and destiny, but as a person of faith, I believe marriage is so much more than that. I genuinely believe that God prepared my husband for me from the beginning of his life, and me for my husband from the beginning of my life. Somehow, at a young age, it was instilled to me that marriage was a gift. My parents were a beautiful example of marriage. I knew that marriage was not easy for them, but I also knew that marriage was a gift to them that they both treasured and would never give up on, even when they annoyed each other beyond imagining. That is the upbringing that I entered my marriage with. I did not think it would be easy, but I knew my marriage was a gift from God and that he not only desired me, but DEMANDED me, to take care of it!
Thus, I was stopped dead in my tracks when I read today’s Gospel. Much will be required…How am I doing? How have I been taking care of the most precious gifts given to me by the Lord? Does my husband know he is my number one? Do my children know that my marriage comes before them or am I spending all my time taking care of my children? In my reflection, I realized that I need to give more priority to my marriage. This was a hard pill for me to swallow. I have preached over and over to couples preparing for marriage to never loose sight of their spouse…Now, I had not lost sight of Dan, but I certainly have gotten lost a time or two recently in the business of our daily lives.
I realized that when things in life change, we need to make sure to keep that gift of marriage front and center. Recently, we made the decision to homeschool our children, which is completely uncharted territory for us and a huge change. Previously, after the kids went to bed, we were able to be focus on our marriage, now because I have responsibilities to our family that I had not had previously, I end up spending my nights lesson planning and correcting papers…this is something that has never been part of our marriage before. I have not learned how to balance things well…yet! However, God hit me over the head today and this is something I will have to figure out in short order!
The takeaway for me today is a great dose of humility. I teach engaged couples on a regular basis and I work with couples who have struggling marriages, but I also know that my marriage is not perfect! I do know, however, that my husband and I believe in the Sacrament of Matrimony, and we do everything in our power to take great care of the gift of marriage that God has entrusted to us. When you say, “I do” know that God is DEMANDING you to take good care of the gift He has chosen for you. With great things, comes great responsibility!