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Marriage is Like Fine China

Written by Corey Grace

“You need to take Frances to practice at 5:30pm. She has a ride home, so you just need to drop her off.”

“Can you stop at the store on your way home? I forgot to get a salad for our meal tonight?”

“One of us needs to pick up Henry from basketball. He’s done at 7:30pm, but it’s clear across town so we’ll have to leave around 7pm to get there in time.”

Do these sound like familiar conversations in your everyday life with your spouse? Nearly daily in our home, logistics like these are said. Of course, it’s essential that my husband and I communicate about all the day-to-day happenings. But, if we’re not careful, these types of conversations become ALL we communicate about.

No doubt, the stresses and obligations of modern family life are consuming. It is so wonderful to have an involved partner to help ease the load and share the burden. HOWEVER, that is NOT what marriage is about. Sometimes in the business of our lives we can forget that.

My husband and I recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. In a touching letter to me, he wrote that the gift associated with 20 years of matrimony is fine china, which represents the beauty and delicate nature of marriage.

What a perfect symbol! There is so much beauty and sacredness in the Sacrament of marriage that I am often moved to tears simply talking about it. It is a gift to be in awe of. But it is also delicate. It is something that must be cared for often and in a particular way. To clean your fine china, you can’t just load it in the dishwasher to clean it. You have to wash and dry it by hand. You are required to be intentional and take extra care when you have such a precious gift.

Similarly, we can’t treat our marriage like any other human relationship. In order to grow the beauty of our commitment, we can’t just “throw it in the dishwasher” and let the “machine” do the work. WE have to be intentional and take extra (and sometimes difficult) care of our marriage and each other.

One way my husband and I do this is by attending marriage retreats. Over the years, we have found retreats help us keep our marriage strong. Sometimes they have come at a time for us to refocus. Other times they have simply validated things we were already doing. Regardless of the situation of our marriage at a particular moment, marriage retreats help us keep this most precious gift of the Sacrament in its proper place with the proper care. 

If you are looking to for a way to be more intentional about your marriage, click The Marriage Course icon to learn more.