Now that we’re back in Ordinary Time, I thought it’d be worthwhile to write an article reflecting on the “ordinary” acts of love that are the foundation of marriage and family life.
I’ve never met a person who didn’t want to love their spouse well. The real challenge is to recognize how to love each other well, and I’d argue that the most important love is in the ordinary acts that we can be tempted to forget about.
These small acts aren’t showy but they’re powerful. In fact, I think they’re the foundation of any great marriage.
Couples are often tempted to see their love primarily in the big moments: things like a 25-year anniversary trip, or the adventure of buying a new house, or watching our children graduate college.
These are big moments. In fact, I’d call them mountain top moments for which we should really thank God.
But what’s important to remember is that in order to have a mountain top, you need a mountain. In marriage, that mountain is built by countless small acts of love. These small acts are the stones that seem insignificant in themselves, but over a lifetime of piling them up they become truly a magnificent testament to the power of love.
I know one of the best ways I can love my wife is to sit down every week and go over my calendar with her, talking about when I have meetings and seeing how I can support her in the work she has to do.
It’s not the most romantic conversation we have each week, but it’s deeply significant to helping our love thrive. And doing the dishes when it isn’t your turn or holding hands in the grocery store can be just as impactful.
I see this as a manifestation of St. Therese’s little way. God is most powerful in the small things done with great love! We’re all tempted to forget about how meaningful these things are, and so as we get used to ordinary time once again, let’s all get on with the business of loving our spouses and families in the most ordinary of ways.
Adam Storey is the diocesan director of Marriage & Family Life. He can be reached at 515-237-5056.