Your number one goal in life is to make it to heaven. Everything you do, every choice you make should be for love of God and oriented to this ultimate destination. But when you enter into a marriage covenant, you gain the additional responsibility of helping your spouse get to heaven, too.
Some have a spouse who is a faithful Catholic and an exceedingly virtuous person. Others have a more difficult time with a spouse who rejects faith or struggles with mortal sin. Either way, there are things you can do to assist your spouse in attaining eternal life with God. Catholic writer and children’s author Gracie Jagla joined Morning Air® to share some ideas that you can apply to your marriage.
Give your spouse room to grow
Let’s face it—married life, especially for parents, is busy. You might feel like there’s no time for prayer, spiritual reading, and the like. As a spouse, you can encourage your husband or wife to take that needed time by helping them set aside moments in their day and reducing distractions (running interference?) during that time.
“As much as I should care about my own prayer life, I should care just as much about his,” Jagla says. Her husband is really good about protecting her prayer time and has asked her these two questions: what makes you feel closest to God and what time of the day is best to pray?
Use those answers to carve out time for you and your spouse to have personal prayer time, scripture-reading time, etc.
Find ways to pray with your spouse, whether it is a daily devotion like the Rosary, scripture reflection, or other types of prayer. Even when you’re exhausted, you and your spouse can end the day in prayer, encourages Jagla.
“I love going to bed at the same time because it’s the five minutes a day that we get to pray together. It’s sometimes as simple as we’re so sleepy … and we just make the sign of the cross on each other’s heads. It doesn’t take more than one second but it’s just a unifying thing where we’re praying with each other and for each other in the simplest of ways.”
Pray and sacrifice for your spouse
Whether your spouse is a “saint on earth” or far from the faith, they need your prayers. Just as you care for your family’s earthly needs—shelter, clothing, food—you must also provide them with spiritual nourishment. Pray with them and for them, lead them in learning about the Faith, model virtue for them, and offer sacrifices on their behalf. Even if your spouse is deceased, you can and should pray for them. Each of us needs all the graces we can get!
In praying and sacrificing for your spouse and your family, you are not only helping them get to heaven but you are personally growing in faith, love, and charity. Marriage is a journey to heaven, but you and your spouse need to help one another along the road.
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