Give up SELFISHNESS in your Marriage for Lent

20 Feb


To understand what marriage is – we must first understand what it is not: It is not dependent on romantic love, it is not dependent on your spouse doing their fair share, it is not dependent on your spouse not making mistakes – even grave ones that wound you deeply.

What marriage is about: a vow you took before God when you bestowed freely the sacrament of Marriage on your spouse and gave yourself to her in service until your death, marriage is about forgiveness, marriage is about loving even when that love is not returned, marriage is about remaining faithful even when your spouse is not, marriage is about doing whatever is best for your spouse instead of what you think is best for you, marriage is about putting your spouse above everything else save God in your life.

By now you are likely angry. Obviously, you have not stopped reading. Let me explain as Jesus did in the beatitudes – to become first, we must make ourselves last; To become the master, we must become the slave.

What that means in practical terms is that marriage is not about YOU. It is a vow of perpetual service, and when that vow is practiced by both parties simultaneously unfathomable joy and love bloom like roses in the desert. You should also be realistic and understand that any marriage will have it’s ups and downs – some very severe. In order to achieve those joys one must often endure hardship and even sorrow with dignity and commitment. There will be times when nothing but your commitment to your promise and Christ himself carry you in your marriage.

Let your marriage be a reflection of the Love of Christ for humanity. For if you cannot love your wife, how can you hope to love God, much less the world.

Your impediment to doing this is SELFISHNESS. For Lent, please consider giving it up in your marriage and see the difference it can make in 40 days. Then stop and imagine the difference it can make over a lifetime.

Pax Christi,


5 Responses to “Give up SELFISHNESS in your Marriage for Lent”

  1. Laura O'Neill (@LauraOinAK) February 20, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

    Okay, I know you are writing for the men, but OUCH did this hit me hard. Marriage is hard work and I’l admit that the ONLY reason we’ve stayed married for 19.5 years is taking my vow seriously. Sadly, it is too easy to listen to well meaning people who will advise you to hang it all up at the first sign of trouble without trying to WORK on it. And they can be family and church friends advising this!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dona Eis Requiem January 20, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

      Since I wrote this, I see such bad advice about “quick get a divorce”, you’re so emotionally abused, I’m sure I can get you annulment, and the most dreaded “God wants you to have a happy marriage – not be trapped in a mistake”. I heard the last one related to me by someone who had just spoken to a priest. I am seeing a dismal level of support out there that will heal marriages, people seem frightened to even suggest that you need to honor your commitments – or encourage people that all marriages have their dark moments, but like the night they give way to a new morning. Too many times the advice consists of giving ultimatums, or withholding intimacy until you get what you want.

      Please say a prayer for marriage – that people might realize there is a better way. I have seen too many divorces and the emotion, physical, and financial toll they take on everyone. I cannot say I know even one person who thinks they are better off 2 years after their divorce, but I can say I know a few catholic couples that remarried each other once they realized what they had lost and the effect it had had on both them and the children. It’s not an easy path – but nothing worthwhile is.

      PS: My frustration is not in any way directed at you 🙂 but rather the result of reading your comment and realizing that you represent the proof that IT CAN BE DONE. If you have written about it please let me know – I would love to reblog about it here. People need all the inspiration they can get these days.


  2. Lori Conklin February 20, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

    Right to the point and I like that you are calling all of us into the real meaning lent….selfless giving especially in marriage. I must admit your article brought to mind specific instances where I could do better.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. momwhearingloss February 21, 2015 at 10:21 pm #

    wow – so true – marriage is not easy – 16 years and we still haven’t figured it out – selfishness is a problem in society in general – such a me dominated world – becoming more so every day – maybe if we all start with our most important relationship we can all do better – daily work but worth it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Colin Corcoran February 22, 2015 at 12:29 am #

      I wish you all the love, courage, patience, and hope you could ever need to succeed. If we cannot be selfless in our marriages then there is no limit on the selfishness that will infect the world, or the misery it will cause for so many.

      PS: I may have a few more years of matrimony under my belt, but know that I am far from perfect still. I try hard and keep working at it. You will never stop learning and improving.

      Being selfless in your marriage is a journey, not a destination.


      Liked by 1 person

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