Dads, let your kids see you pray

The father of the groom of a couple I’m preparing for Holy Matrimony told me a story from William F. Buckley:

When asked where he got his strong Catholic faith, Buckley said his Mother was always making them learn this and that but what he really remembered was the time he was making his customary trip to his parents’ bedroom to kiss his father good night only to see his father on his knees in prayer.

Mom is important to a child’s faith formation, but Dad seems to be the key to a boy’s faith retention.

Let your children see that you love Jesus, fathers. Let them see that you trust him. Go to church with your sons before you go to the golf course with them. The faith you teach them by example will be your most important legacy.

On a good Christian marriage

flowersWe have been married over 25 years, and people have along the way commented favorably on our marriage bond. We are going to share our different perspectives on topics that relate to what makes a marriage good, from practical ones like cooking and cleaning to metaphysical ones like intimacy and vulnerability.

To be bound in love is to be intimate and vulnerable. In married life, if we don’t have those things then we are housemates rather than spouses. Yet too often, we married folk lose our intimacy with each other and function together more like roommates than husband and wife.

I’ve had roommates and housemates in previous living arrangements, and while we were “friends,” it wasn’t authentically intimate because neither I nor they would risk lowering the veil and letting the other get close. Oh, we had good times, and we saw each other at highs and at lows, but there was always a distance present.

Getting close is the heart of Christian marriage. Without intimacy, a covenant is nothing more than a contract. Without intimacy, self-giving love becomes a series of offsetting transactions.

Getting close is difficult, and even more so for men. We need marriage – the bonds of marriage – to protect us when we peel away our shiny exterior shell and admit to the quivering goo underneath. So, dear wives, be gentle with us.