There are plenty of things in life that can weaken a marriage. Busy schedules, stress, work, school, kids, finances, and various forms of sin can all take their toll. That’s why it is so important to have strategies to build up and strengthen your marriage on a regular basis. But how often do you think of prayer as a marriage-building activity?
Dr. John and Claire Grabowski are a married couple and the authors of the book One Body: A Program of Marriage Preparation and Enrichment for the New Evangelization. They stopped by The Drew Mariani Show™ to share why a strong spiritual foundation is the key to a strong marriage, and the many benefits that come from praying with and for your spouse.
Praying together with your spouse is a key component of building that strong spiritual foundation, but it’s not always something that comes naturally, or all at once. Claire shared that their journey toward praying together as a couple and as a family was a long one.
“When we first got married, we had both already had the routine of having our own personal prayer time,” she said. “So when we first got married, that’s the way we came into marriage. We prayed separately. We did go to Mass together, which to me the greatest form of prayer is worshiping the Lord in the Holy Eucharist.”
“But our personal prayer time evolved over the years,” she explained. “We started doing morning prayer together and sharing what the Lord was teaching us. And then we had the children join us. And this has blessed our family abundantly. Because we’ve accompanied each other, but we’ve also brought our children to the faith by sharing our love for prayer and the Lord with them. It’s something that has evolved over the years.”
Prayer is such a personal thing that it can be intimidating for some spouses to be vulnerable and intimate in that way. But John and Claire pointed out that there are many benefits to this form of intimacy in a marriage.
John said, “The most important form of intimacy in a marriage is spiritual intimacy. When you have that anchor, it anchors the whole of your relationship and it improves everything. It improves your communication, it improves your affection, it improves your sexual relationship with each other as a couple. So spiritual intimacy is the heart of marriage. Being able to share with each other all these different ways that we can pray is a gift.”
And prayer not only strengthens your marriage in the short-term, but a life of prayer with your spouse has benefits that will last into eternity.
“Marriage and family is ultimately created for us to bring others to heaven,” Claire said. “It is our spouse and our children that are our priority to evangelize so that we can spend eternity with them and the Lord. So Satan does not want us to pray together and he makes our lives really busy. He gets us involved in everything, he gets us addicted to the internet, the kids to their phone, anything that’s going to cause our family not to pray together.”
John agreed, pointing out that when it comes to the spiritual foundation of your family, the road is difficult, but the stakes are high. He said, “It’s a spiritual battle. And the spiritual battle affects our relationships with each other. One of the best ways for Satan to bring down the Church is to bring down the domestic church. The family is the key.”