Loving or Losing
A reflection on married life based on the Family Camp by ONE and ACF
For where Christianity pervades the entire mode of family life, and gradually transforms it, one will find there both the practice and an excellent school of the lay apostolate. In such a home husbands and wives find their proper vocation in being witnesses of the faith and love of Christ to one another and to their children. The Christian family loudly proclaims both the present virtues of the Kingdom of God and the hope of a blessed life to come. Thus by its example and its witness it accuses the world of sin and enlightens those who seek the truth.’ (LG #35)
Is possible to get lost in family life?
It is possible and very easy to get lost in ordinary family life. How? We get lost when we become too engrossed in our work or tasks that we forget to communicate. We get lost when our communications are done in hasty fashion instead of giving each other time. We become lost when we let the mundane humdrum of everyday life numb our senses such that we forget to celebrate and enjoy each other’s presence. On top of that, we are so easily lost when we become distracted by the gadgets in our hands. Phones, tablet computers, and other electronic devices are the major culprits. The chats and conversations in the form of WeChat, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Facebook are not helping in the most basic form of our communication – face-to-face conversation!
How can we be FOUND again?
To be FOUND in the family again is to LOVE our way back to healthy relationships. This begins with the couple’s relationship. Regardless of the number of years a couple has been married, there is always a reset button – to start things all over again to rediscover the love we have for each other. This is reassuring and hopeful for me because it means that no matter what happens, as long as my spouse and I are willing to start again, we can begin anew to grow in love. At the foundation of this spousal relationship is God our Father because He loves us first and will not give up on us.
What can we do as a couple?
When we place God our Father first in our married life, all else will fall in place. How? One such indicator is that the couple prays together. This is something for me to work on together with my spouse. It is easy to make excuses for ourselves with the chores we need to do and the work that we brought home from the office. We can also be misled to think that it is already good that we are individually praying and spending time with God. However, in a marriage, man and woman are to become one. We have read in scripture that Eve was given to Adam as a ‘help meet’. We have often translated it as ‘helpmate’ giving the impression of the woman having a lesser role as a helper to man. However the original Hebrew word has two meanings: one that of ‘to save’ and the other meaning ‘opposite’. When we take this into consideration, it means the woman has a role to save the man by being the mirror opposite to the man so that the two can complement and complete each other to become one. It is in this oneness that they become a sign of God’s love.
So the prayer time of the couple is important, for them to pray as one before God instead of two individuals. It is also the work of all in the family to help each other to grow in holiness beginning from the couple – to help one another to grow closer to God our Father.
By Daphne Leong