We were not made to be alone, and so we need accompaniment in the spiritual life to be encouraged and led onward in the journey of faith. And just as we need accompaniment, we need to accompany others in their spiritual journey. But for many of us, we don’t know what it looks like to walk with another person in that way.
Recently on The Inner Life®, Father Ethan Southard shared how our marriage is a natural place to start as we look for how to walk alongside someone in the journey of faith. Father Ethan said:
“In that accompaniment, as Jesus sends them out two by two, there’s this encouragement, there’s this walking together, there’s this journeying together in good times and in bad, in rich times and in poor.
I think marriage is an accompaniment as well. We’re supporting each other, even when it’s scary. We’re saying that we’re in this together.
In the vows that you take – for richer for poorer, for sick and in good health – we entrust ourselves to that other person, and we journey with them. That’s the beautiful thing, that’s the scary thing – that we surrender and we open up to another person in such a beautiful way. But there is a grace in that mutuality, when we open up and reveal ourselves to another person.
We can see that there is a divine, precious life within that other person. And I’m revealing myself to this other person, and they’re revealing themselves to me. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it can be ugly, and it can be our deep, dark secrets, and it’s a little scary.
But in that mutuality, we’re reverencing the other person and giving them this awe, this wonder, this space for them to be themselves, recognizing that they are created by God. They’re human, but there is something really special within them. So it’s in that beautiful cherishing and tender reverencing of the other person that there is this humility. And you start to see the Kingdom of God coming up in that space.
So yes, a marriage, a holy matrimony, is where the couple comes together and they make the vows, promising each other that I am going to be here for you, I am going to accompany you, I am going to journey with you until death do us part.”
Listen to the full conversation below: