Alleluia! He is Risen! I hope everyone had a very joyous Easter and was able to celebrate the resurrection of Christ with friends and family! Let’s take one last look at what Holy Week can teach us about relationships, this time Easter Sunday!
Lead each other towards Heaven: Easter, the day that Christ conquered death and rose again, points us towards Heaven. It invites us into the Christian life, which is a life that is lived not for the sake of this world but for the sake of the next. I once read somewhere that if you live for this world, you will not get the next. But f you live for Heaven, you will get the best parts of earth as well. That is what we are called to do in our relationships. We should always have our eyes fixed on Heaven and be trying to lead our beloved there. Our relationships should guide us and support us as we walk the narrow path to Heaven.
Here is what that practically looks like:
Pray together: Invite the risen Lord into your relationship. Do not go a day without in some way either praying together or communicating about your individual prayer lives. This helps couples communicate about where their faith life is at, what struggles they are encountering and what support they may need. Simply speaking about your faith lives (your struggles, hardships, joys, thanksgivings, intentions) helps bring your faith to life in your relationship. For this reason, I really recommend just praying out loud with your beloved and completely free-styling it. Traditional prayers are wonderful, but there is such value and power in praying in your own voice in the other’s presence. Find a traditional prayer that you guys really connect with too though! This helps get couples into a routine of praying together. For Timothy and I, we love the Rosary, but I’d also recommend the Liturgy of the Hours or the Examen!
Rejoice in the Lord together: Praise God for your relationship. Every day, thank God. This helps you both stay focused on God, who is the source of your love for one anther. It helps you appreciate your beloved as a gift from God because you are giving Him thanks for being the Creator who gives all good things. Rejoicing in the Lord with your beloved helps you keep your eyes on Heaven! This will also lead others to ask you about the joy you find in your relationship. Use this opportunity to let your relationship be a means of evangelization! You can speak volumes about the love of God just by witnessing to it in your own relationship. Do not be afraid to talk about how God is alive and working in and through it.
Don’t lead each other into sin: Easier said than done, I know. This is hard. But the Christian couple is called to lead one another to Heaven, which means they are called to lead one another away from Hell, and from all the sins that put your souls in jeopardy. Encourage one another to pursue virtue, set up boundaries to help avoid sinful situations, pick up new hobbies that help you walk the path of holiness. Keep Heaven as your top priority and remember that loving selflessly is loving for the sake of the other, which means that your main goal is not only getting yourself to Heaven but getting your beloved to Heaven.
So often in our relationships we directly or indirectly say to our beloved “I want you to love me.” We say this in a joking way when we want affection. We say that when they have done something that has hurt us and we want them to apologize. We say this when we are near sinful situations and want our beloved to lead us away from it. But what I’ve found to be more powerful than asking for love is asking for Heaven: not “I want you to love me” but rather “I want you to get me to Heaven.” Because Authentic love always leads towards Heaven. Authentic love desires the best for the other, which is forever and always Heaven. And you cannot get someone to Heaven without the love that lays down its life for the other; a love that knows that there is no Resurrection without the Crucifixion.
I am praying for your relationships, and I ask that you pray for mine. Thank you to whoever read these posts, I hope that God used at least one sentence of one of them to touch your heart and/or your relationship.