Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tea Time with Tiffany Episode 8 - What role does faith play in your marriage?

Hi all! I hope that you're having a smashing week. Mine has been quite lovely, I think I'm still riding the high of the feast of St. Kateri. :) And now, it's time for another edition of:

Today I chose to talk about the topic suggested by Cindy a few months back, which is faith in marriage. There are so many possible variations here in terms of the role faith plays in the lives of each spouse within a marriage. And then of course, there is the question of the role that faith plays in the marriage itself. Regardless of your specific situation, I think that certain overarching spiritual considerations are at play for all of us. My story? View on. :)

This is a very personal topic, probably the most so of these video posts that I've done. And thus, before I recorded this, I prayed for the Holy Spirit's wisdom (since God knows, I don't always have any on my own!). And it is my hope that by sharing my story, it will be helpful to someone out there. I hope also that my brief discussion does justice to the beautiful, multi-dimensional sacrament of marriage, and to the man that I am privileged to share my life with, my absolutely adorable and sweet husband, Mike.

Items mentioned in this episode:
Now it's your turn, if you'd like to share. What role does faith play in your marriage? If you are unmarried, but hope to marry, what role do you aspire for faith to play in your future marriage?


  1. Interesting discussions. I would characterize my marriage as a mixed marriage in everything but name. Meaning, my husband and I are both cradle Catholics, but the Catholic faith my parents transmitted to me bears very little resemblance to the Catholic faith my husband's parents transmitted to him. And, this forum is probably not the place to discuss particulars, so I won't, but it is an interesting struggle, because there is a perception inside and outside the Church that Catholics are this homogeneous mass (no pun intended) of people and if two Catholics marry, it's all good. The simple reality is that almost never are two people, of the same religion or different, in the same place spiritually when they marry. And I've been a little surprised when asking for prayers on this issue that the attitude can often be something along the lines of "you both go to mass, what more do you want?" Er, sorry to be picky, but we should all strive for greater holiness. That's what we are called to do. And, am I the only one who finds marriage difficult? Wowsers.

    I certainly pray for our marriage, and for the graces that we both need to grow together in the vocation we have chosen. To that end, St. Jane Frances de Chantal is a favorite saint of mine as the first years of our marriage were very difficult due to some unusual circumstances that I thought she would be helpful with.

    I also have a devotion to St. Joseph, as one of his many patronages is of families. When I began praying to St. Joseph, I had read repeatedly that when you seek his assistance, firstly, be prepared for the assistance to come, but perhaps not in a form you expect, and secondly, St. Joseph's assistance is great, but likewise can be brought about in ways that may cause waves or create turmoil. In other words, if you want your graces to confer as a gentle rain instead of a lightning bolt, he may not be your guy. That. Is. The. Truth.

    Since my husband and I are both cradle Catholics, my opportunities to have conversations about the nature, trajectory and expression of faith are likely different from others in fully mixed marriages. There are some commonalities of experience, at least, that open the door to wider ranging discussions. And, because of that, my personal experience is that there is a time and a place for prayer, but also a time and a place for saying that something is not right and needs to change, which can create some conflict. I guess the way I see it, I don't expect my husband to be a mind reader, so if I don't at least make the case for change, I can't presume to motivate any.

  2. Amy, your contributions are always valued and appreciated here, and as ever, your comment is thought-provoking and very indicative of what is on my own heart. I think you and I may somehow be related. :) This issue is one very close to my heart, because I know people who are very apprehensive about anybody entering into an interfaith marriage. I totally understand where they are coming from, but I completely agree with you that pretty much every single marriage involves two people with non-identical spiritual lives, even if they both identify as the exact same faith. You shouldn't jeopardize your own faith for someone else, but if that is not at issue, any marriage is going to take a lot of work and prayer. And a LOT of striving for holiness, yes indeed!

    As always your saint suggestions are flat out awesome, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I should absolutely begin asking for the intercession of St. Joseph for my family, why didn't I think of that before?! Because God sent you to me to clue me in and lift me up, that's why. He always knows what I need before I need it, doesn't He? :)

  3. And I should probably qualify the "I can't presume to motivate change" statement with the caveat that "I" am not the force creating the change, but rather God through the intercession of saints. It is more proper for me to say that I can't fully undertake my role as an instrument of change if I don't pray, live my faith and express my faith ;)

  4. Amy, absolutely. I'm right there with you, and I love your qualification about the intercession of saints. I know that it is God hearing and answering our prayers, but I do adore asking for the intercession of our brothers and sisters in the faith. It's very soothing to me. 3

  5. My husband sways to the agnostic side and views my faith with suspicion/disdain usually. He was raised Jehovah's Witness and so he's extremely put off by religion...since I converted after we were married I kinda pulled the rug out from under him.

    That being said, I try to live my faith relentlessly but quietly. I hope that our marriage benefits from my prayer regardless of whether he ever knows it, I hope that God lifts us both up together. I really can't talk about faith at all with him. I just try to tread lightly.

    I so love these three Elizabeths: St. Elizabeth of Portugal (who had a difficult Pagan husband whom she continued to love), St. Elizabeth of the visitation (Zechariah's hard head!) and Elizabeth LeSeur. I can sometimes get discouraged in prayer, but I think those times I need to pray more!

  6. Rachel, thank you so much for commenting! I had the situation you describe in mind when I spoke of scenarios that must be quite stressful at times. Granted, all marriages can be quite stressful at times :) but in terms of religious matters. I'm glad that you are able to practice your faith, and although you can't talk to him about it, it's still encouraging that he doesn't more formally object to you doing so.

    I think you're absolutely right, that you can pray that your marriage benefits from your prayers. I read a conversion story once written by a Jehovah's Witness, let me find it...Although we don't want to scare your husband into thinking we're pressuring him or anything, it may be an encouraging story for you to read. :) Ah, here it is! It's called "The King's Highway" by Kenneth Guindon:

    A fascinating story, I really enjoyed it. And you know that I love reading conversion stories! And I LOVE your saint recommendations, girl, you know the way to my heart! :) A trinity of Elizabeths, awesome! I know that it's easy to feel discouraged, but just keep praying. That's what God is calling us to do, and when that's the case, we should have no fear. :)

  7. Thanks for the book suggestion! I totally bought a copy a few minutes ago :)

    1. Rachel, oh good. I'm so glad!! Hope you like it and feel encouraged by it!


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