Begin with the Prayer of Abandonment. (Almost have it memorized? Good for you!)
“A good wife is a generous gift bestowed upon him who fears the Lord. Be he rich or poor, his heart is content, and a smile is ever on his face” (Sirach 26:3-4).
In every marriage, there will come a time when you are called upon to give up something important to you for the sake of the one you love. Sleep ranks high on the list for most parents. With spouses it might be a friendship, or a habit, or a measure of freedom to do or buy what you want, when you want. It’s part of self-giving love, which is at the heart of every truly loving marriage.
Don’t be afraid to make this sacrifice, or begrudge it in any way. In his book Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To, Anthony DeStefano observes that God is invariably more generous with us than we are with ourselves.
“There is a divine nexus between generosity and blessing. When my mother told me that I would receive two things for every one I gave away, she was really teaching me something fundamental about God and the way he operates; namely, that he will never be outdone in generosity. When it comes to bestowing blessings, God will not allow a human being to do more than he does.” (p.47).
Today’s challenge: Is there a recent sacrifice that you made less-than-joyfully, even grudgingly? Remember the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew? “If a stranger compels you to walk a mile with him, go with him two.” Is there someone with whom you need to walk that second mile today?
Today’s prayer: Lord, give me a generous heart for those who need me . . . starting with my own family, and especially my spouse. Each time I say “Yes!” let me say it as joyfully, as if I were saying it to you.
In the early days of our relationship, my husband and I lived true to this word. We generously gave of ourselves to the poor, volunteering a few days a month to provide medical services for free. We always believed that it would come back to us….and it did! We were given a beautiful life, with no financial hardships, a beautiful and talented child, and successful careers.
Now we have a troubled marriage. We have both become selfish. My husband is selfishly pursuing his “happiness” by pursuing another woman, believing himself “in love”.
I pray that I could rise above the hurt and look beyond myself. Only then can I become generous again, and not expect to be reciprocated.
Reciprocity is at the heart of marriage — mutual giving and receiving in love. When someone steps away from this, feelings of betrayal require supernatural grace to resolve. (Ideally, this corresponds to the contrition of the offending spouse … but as Jesus demonstrated in His own life, forgiveness CAN be very powerful even when it is one-sided. “Father forgive them….”
My prayer for you is that you will get the help you need to work through these feelings, until the day that your husband’s eyes are opened. Even if he does not return (and I sincerely pray that he does) this will keep bitterness from poisoning your life.
Angel, my heart hurts for you. And my prayers are with you both.