By Valerie Vespe
The vocation of marriage is something most people desire. They want to fall in love and be loved deeply by another.
One thing people forget is that this alone will not bring you happiness. I have come to learn the only thing that makes you happy is loving God more than anyone or anything. This means spending time daily with Him and doing his will for your life. You must have a concrete relationship with Him before entering a relationship with your future spouse.
Some people have fallen in love, and later find out that their vocation is to become a priest or a nun. They realize that this will bring them true happiness. No one vocation is easier than another, God gives us a certain vocation because it's our path to holiness, the best thing for us.
How could we ever become holy if our lives were easy? There is no need for God, or so we would think.
For myself, there have been many struggles ever since I've been married, but at the same time I feel very blessed. St. Paul tells us to rejoice in our sufferings because it shows us that God loves us. When we suffer this is God drawing us to Him, so that we may ask for his help and realize that He is in control.
Most people hear the typical struggles and joys of marriage. However, people have a romanticized view of marriage, as did I before I was married. Until you're actually in a marriage, the things people tell you don't impress upon you the depths of the actual experience. So, for what it's worth, be patient about the vocation of marriage. There are great joys and wonders in marriage, but at the same time there are struggles and challenges too.
There is no “I” in a marriage but a “We.” One of the hardest struggles is sacrificing yourself for your spouse. Concentrate on the now. Ask yourself, “How can I better become self-disciplined? What sins do I struggle with the most and how can I counteract them? Do I truly put God before anyone or anything? How can I better love others?”
If you feel God's will is for you to be married someday, start preparing now. On a human level, work on your communication skills. Love does conquer all, but you need communication and patience in order to carry out the love. This is the key to a happy marriage.
On a practical level, if you are preparing for marriage, discuss with your future spouse expectations of your roles. Who should do the cooking, the finances, the yard, the laundry etc. It will save you a lot of time and frustration when you are married.
In conclusion, remember that all the struggles and temptations that you are faced with are perfect opportunities for you to cling to God; and just because we find marriage difficult doesn't mean we can't find peace and joy. Life is filled with difficulties and challenges, but when you know you're doing God's will … this will bring true happiness.
(This article appears courtesy of YOU! magazine.)