Hello everyone. I recently am returning to the Catholic church after leaving when I was a teenager. I am excited about my new faith adventure. I am married and I read a lot about how marriage in Catholicism is a sacrament and a vocation. It is interesting to view marriage as a “calling” if you will. I have not found much information on just how a wife is to view her vocation or calling from God or to carry it out. What the church views is her calling, etc. Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts about this. Thank you very much and God bless!
Never a good idea to start a positive thread about women on this forum.
Welcome back! I wish you many blessing on your journey!
I think being a wife and/or mother is an amazing vocation! I’m not sure what it looks like for each person in practice, but when I stayed home with my young children, it brought me joy and peace to unite my tasks, joys and sufferings of the day with Jesus and His mother Mary.
Picturing Mary nearby, knowing that she did many of the same tasks, was a lovely personal devotion for me. As was praying the Rosary while engaged in things that didn’t require my attention was also helpful.
I’m not sure what you are specifically looking for but I hope this was helpful.
My wife has a vocation to get me and the kid to Heaven. I am fully in favour of this as it fits snugly in mine which is to get her and the kid to Heaven. She wants to know why the wife always seems to be the heavy lifter in the relationship.
I know there is no marriage in heaven but I have made it quite clear to my Lord, that despite all the theological evidence to the contrary, I, personally will not be happy without them. He understands my position, but suggests I start running a lot faster myself to win the race.
CCC 2331-2400 gives a basic overview of some of the ways we are called to live married life. The first parts of Genesis, and Eph 22-33 also gives us some very basic guidelines. And Mulieris Dignitatum expands on these things just a little bit more (beware, though–it’s a pretty long read).
But the Church doesn’t tell us how to, say, divide household chores, or which spouse should (or shouldn’t) work outside the home, or whether we’re called to this or that volunteer opportunity, or “steps 1, 2, and 3” to show respect or love for our husbands… but that’s probably because those little details can vary quite widely while still bringing us to holiness in our marriages.
I’ve been married for 20 years, and even now, it can sometimes be difficult for me to figure out how God wants me to live out my vocation as a wife and mother, exactly. I’ve prayed many, many times, “God, give me a sign–what do you want me to do?”
That said, there are some books I would suggest that may help you with more specific examples and advice about living out your calling as a wife through loving and respecting your husband. Keep in mind that each person is different (and therefore, what the “majority” prefers is not necessarily what your spouse prefers), of course.
For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhann
Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs (IMO, he can be a little blunt and hard on us wives, but his advice is mostly good and useful)
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle (disclaimer: I have only skimmed this, not read the whole thing yet, so if there is anything anti-Catholic in it, I apologize in advance!)
There are probably other books and resources out there about discerning God’s Will in your life. Hopefully some other posters will come along soon and recommend some, or offer you some better advice.
As one poster said, your number one “job” if you will, is to help your husband and children get to heaven. And his is the same for you. Beyond that…
I’ve been married 30 years, and have one child, who is 17. My husband and I came into the Church in 2004, and our son in 2011. I practice, he says “I’m Catholic, just not very good at it.” His job requires him to work Sundays.
For us, part of my vocation as wife and mother meant that I stayed home and homeschooled our son until it became financially necessary for me to work. I kept teaching our son until he wanted to go to school in the 9th grade. This past November, he decided he preferred homeschooling and is now in independent study. I make sure he gets to Life Teen and Mass, in short, I make sure he is raised in the Church. I am very involved in our parish and also will be beginning my novitiate years in the OCDS in May. But my first responsibility outside of my personal relationship with Jesus is to my family. When I get to heaven, the first question God asks me is not going to be if I was a good Mass Captain or even a good Secular Discalced Carmelite. His first concern will be if I was a good wife.
The point is, what that vocation looks like will be different for everyone. With prayer, discernment, and most importantly discussing it with your husband, you will find a way that works for you. Who washes dishes isn’t as important as that they get washed.
I hope this helps.
It’s difficult necessarily to look at the vocation of the wife (or husband, for that matter) outside of the general context of the family. An old Christian Brothers lesson-book explains it like so:
Before entering the holy state of marriage young people should give due consideration to its obligations. Besides purity of intention, and prudence in selection, they must examine if they are able and ready to perform the duties required.
A true husband exercises his authority as coming from God Himself. He therefore treats his wife with gentleness and respect, and lovingly supplies all her legitimate needs. By his labor and skill he provides for the proper support of the family.
The wife ought to be submissive to her husband, modest, devoted, and industrious in the discharge of her domestic duties.
The children are to be brought up in the fear and love of God. They must receive a Christian education. Parents are responsible to God for the spiritual as well as the temporal welfare of their children.
Every Catholic family should take for its model the Holy Family at Nazareth. There God reigned supreme. The Holy Child Jesus was ever present. In the truly Catholic home there is always a distinctive, religious atmosphere. In the actions and the conversation of the parents, in the deportment of the children, even in the furnishing and the decoration of the house, there is a Catholic tone that cannot be mistaken. Morning and evening prayer, grace at meals, the recitation of the rosary in common, regular attendance at the service of the Church, and the reception of the sacraments—these are the practices that draw down the blessing of God on the Catholic home. To these families are unknown the countless troubles and misfortunes that are found in those where God is not recognized. And it is to the children of such homes that God extends His special invitations to the higher life. It is from them that come forth our zealous brothers and sisters, our holy priests, and, in general, all our self-sacrificing religious. Instead of opposing the vocation of their children to the higher life, these parents are only too happy to give their consent and encouragement, and are grateful for the honor done them.
But these happy results of a Catholic marriage are not attained without labor and mutual sacrifice. The obligations are to be met. Sickness and poverty are always possibilities. There are days of trial and sorrow as well as days of joy; days when Christian resignation and Christian fortitude are the only props in life. Then will appear the faithful Christian husband and the loving devoted wife—a couple who entered matrimony not through worldly motives, but to please God and secure their own and their children’s salvation.
As I have come to understand as a husband…
Marriage can not be undone, what God unites man can not divide. (Marriage annulments are a different topic) For example, your soul and your body are married, and only death will do them apart. When you have a child he or she will always be your child. You can see how God unites but man can not undo.
A Sacrament is a visible sign of an invisible reality [Mother Angelica]
What can we get from this? well the bible explains what love is.
“1 Corinthians 13: 4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”
Love is action, not a mere feeling. Love is waking up early and making breakfast. Love is going to work to sustain your family and your neighbors. Love is being there when you are needed, and having patience when troubles come.
Love is submission, our Lord chose the suffering on the Cross and this is a sign of true love, you are worth my life.:flowers: