7 gifts that build Up your marriage!
Unfortunately, we all know of at least one couple that has been through a divorce and experienced the pain of that outcome. Are you concerned about the state of your relationship? When faced with marital challenges we have to ask ourselves if we are contributing to the build-up or brokenness of our marriage. If your marriage feels broken don’t lose hope…consider praying and asking for the grace to exercise the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit to turn your relationship around and build a strong marriage. The 7 gifts are:
- Fear of the Lord
As Catholics, these 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit are granted to us and sealed in the Sacrament of Confirmation to help us live a virtuous life. Sadly, many Catholics forget that they have access to these gifts that can transform our lives and relationships when activated and put into practice. In fact, the Catechism of The Catholic Church (CCC, no. 1832) stipulates that there are 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit; charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity. Wow! Who doesn’t desire these fruits? We all do!
When we take on a project to build something, one of the first questions we ask ourselves is, what are the tools I need? In order to build anything, we need the right tools for the job to be successful. Well, the same applies to our marital relationship. When we desire to build an amazing marriage we have to ask ourselves what are the tools and strategies I need to build the marriage I desire and deserve? Let’s take a closer look at how we can utilize the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit to help us build and sustain a solid marriage filled with the fruits of the Holy Spirit!
- Wisdom – The ability to discern, have good insight and judgment – Wisdom enables us to discern what is best for our marriage and how to make good decisions that will impact our lives in a positive way. Ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of Wisdom so that you are prepared to face your challenges with wisdom and the insight to discern the will of God for your marriage.
- Understanding – The capacity to comprehend, a friendly or harmonious relationship – When we approach our relationships with the aim to understand the other person’s perspective before we offer our own point of view, we are better able to grasp the root of the problem/challenge we are facing. Seek to understand before we ask to be understood.
- Counsel – To give advice, suggest a proper course of action – When faced with difficult circumstances, we all can use some good solid advice to help us gain perspective. As a married couple, we should stand shoulder-to-shoulder facing our challenges together as advocates, not adversaries. When confronted with a problem, imagine someone would come to you with the challenge you are facing and ask you for “advice” on how best to handle the situation, ask yourself, what advice would you give that person?
- Fortitude – Strength of mind to endure pain or adversity with courage – Marriage can be extremely challenging at times because relationships are complex. When we are struggling and suffering in our marriage, our mind tells us that it’s too hard…we can’t go on….just quit and end the discomfort. This is why we need to pray for the gift of Fortitude to help us dismiss that negative voice and persevere in the midst of trials and tribulations.
- Knowledge – To know or be aware of something with familiarity gained through experience or information – When we have knowledge of Christian principles and God’s way of thinking, we are better equipped to take action in order to propel our marriage to the next level. We have clarity of thought to see things as they truly are and make adjustments in our lives that will help us be the best-version of ourselves.
- Piety – Faithfully committed or devoted to your religion – Making a commitment to knowing and practicing your Catholic faith with reverence and honor will certainly bear fruit in your marriage. Your faith can be your source of strength that will fuel your marriage for the long-term. Through the gift of Piety we can see our spouse with God’s eyes and love them with our Lord’s heart, regardless of how difficult it may be at times.
- Fear of The Lord – Out of reverence for God, the fear of offending or separating from Him – Proverbs 9:10 says “The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”. By making choices that honor God, this gift can save us from a lot of trouble and pain in our lives.
If you want to bear the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit, take time to contemplate these gifts and make a commitment to exercise them for the sake of your relationship. You have 7 gifts, one for every day of the week! Pray that our Lord help you embrace them and start practicing. If you apply these gifts consistently you will begin to gain the momentum you need to build the marriage you deserve and bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit!