Attn. Every Married Person :)
You may already know that prayer is on my list of tips for a lovely marriage.
Am I really going to talk about prayer? Yes - I kind of have to... :). You see, at this point in my life, I've seen what a beautiful thing it can be in a marriage. So I CAN'T HELP but throw this post out there in case it could be helpful to anyone.
Now, I wasn't sure how I felt about prayer most of my life. So if any of you are thinking WHAT?!?! Trust me, I've been there.
In my first marriage, I really was trying to give praying together a go to just see how it could be. But let me tell you, it felt pretty darn awkward to pray out loud with my ex-spouse. He didn't feel a oneness with me...and so oh boy, he really resisted those moments of vulnerability & closeness. It just made him feel...uncomfortable. And at the time, I sadly took his lack of interest personally. Often times if we were going to pray, he preferred that I say the prayer every night instead of us taking turns. Well, that ended in two seconds. I preferred to avoid the sting in my heart right before bed.
But now, I love prayer. Now, it's not weird to me at all. I finally get it - it's just a beautiful way to align your life with gratitude, charity, love, faith & hope on a daily basis. Simple as that. And I love it.
I have come to find that one of the sweetest things ever is to pray sincerely, out loud, with your spouse! It gives you an opportunity each day to open up your heart for them to hear (which may not happen so regularly otherwise.) I am convinced that if spouses would do this together sincerely each day, it would have SUCH A HUGE IMPACT on their marriage.
Once Danny and I met, we started praying together that very night and we haven't stopped. It just felt SO good to have a partner to pray with after being alone for so long. We just appreciate every drop of it now. (Married people: Do NOT take this for granted! I am begging you :) Trust me, you'd miss it if you couldn't do it any longer!!! :)
Here are some tips for praying with your spouse (and by the way, if prayer to God is not your thing, I think meditating or taking a moment to share some of this stuff out loud could be hugely powerful, too)...
- Always express GRATITUDE for your spouse and point out all of their good qualities. (I can attest that as a wife, this is the greatest stuff in the world to hear.)
- Pray for the well-being of your husband/wife and any needs that they might have.
- Pray to be a better spouse yourself.
- Pray out loud for forgiveness (if there is a need for a little bit of making-up to do.) Then follow with make-up sex :)
Now, if your heartfelt prayers do not encourage your spouse to start praying with you, it doesn't have to be the end of the world. Maybe they would be comfortable with doing something else that is similar? Either way, do your best to not be resentful of them, cause that won't do anybody any good. Try to learn to maintain your stillness in those moments and not take it personally. In this state, you will still be able to help & love & be accepting of your spouse, as needed. And you can still have meaningful prayers on your own. And you can still pray for the same things above & pray for them in the same loving way you would otherwise. Cause what you feel in your heart towards them will have a huge impact on your interactions. And sex life. And e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g :) :)
Love to all,
Do you guys pray with your spouse (or do something similar)? Is it meaningful to your marriage? If your spouse doesn't want to pray, how do you handle it?
(photos by Saydi Eyre Shumway)