"Stupid Commandments," I grumbled to myself as I tried to figure out a way to discuss sexual sin with an innocent. I punted, "It's when people act like they are married to each other when they are married to other people."
His brows came down into a frown. "That would be bad," he said.
"It's very bad," I agreed.
It led to a discussion of divorce, naturally enough, and a promise exacted from my son to never pretend I was married to anyone but his daddy. He also promised solemnly to do the same for his wife.
I'm glad he's already thinking and praying for my future daughter-in-law. I pray for her, too. Living in a crazy world where half of all marriages end in divorce, everyone could use some prayer.
Which brings me to this startling statistic. Though the divorce rate for the general population is 50%, it is 5% for couples who practice Natural Family Planning (more on that in next week's podcast) and it is 0.3% for couples who pray together (source: Our Catholic Marriage). In other words, one couple out of 300 will wind up divorced if they take the time to pray. The couple who prays together really does stay together.
I find that heartening. I also find it terrifying.
I have been naked and frisky in front of my husband, I have been sick with all manner of illnesses, and I have both given birth and miscarried before his very eyes, but I have never felt so exposed and vulnerable than when we have opened up to God together. Let's just say that there is intimacy and then there is Intimacy.
According to Scripture it is the heart that prays and what is the heart?
The heart is the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place "to which I withdraw." The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death. It is the place of encounter, because as images of God we live in relation: it is the place of covenant. (CCC 2563)
Praying with your husband means bringing him there.
Kinda scary. As modern wives we're used to bringing him into our bodies, into our day to day life, even into our thoughts and hopes and dreams, but are we called to bring our husband into our very Truth, to that place in our soul where each breath God asks of us is sighed out, "Yes!"?
Yes, yes, yes.
The two shall become one, yes. We two shall become a reflection of God, a unity of Three Persons, so yes.
Couples do this, they really do. My sister and her husband do this. My neighbor does this. In fact, not praying together is kind of a modern thing with couples.
About as Modern as the 50 percent divorce rate.
There is help out there. To break the ice, you can get started with a sincere and nightly recitation of the prayer Christ taught us, the "Our Father." When you are ready to move on, there is this resource: Coupleprayer.org. It's ecumenical in nature and designed to get you praying daily. It's also just a little bit fun.
Just like we worked our way past the awkwardness of learning how to be intimate with each other as Newlyweds, we worked our way past the awkwardness of learning how to be Intimate on this level as Oldlyweds. We worked to make daily prayer together a habit. We knew it was worth it.
Seriously, bumping a 50/50 chance of success to 300 to 1 odds? Discovering couple prayer is like finding a cure for divorce! Who wouldn't want that?
For more on Couple Prayer and some good old Christian common sense, tune in to tonight's Garden of Holiness Podcast at Deeper Truth.
This has been a Wifey Wednesday Post. To have an even more Wifey Wednesday visit Sheila Wray Gregoire at To Love Honor and Vacuum.