During the first decade of marriage, my husband and I fell comfortably and naturally into the routine of work and family responsibilities. We had a sweet, loving relationship with mostly ups and very few downs. However, as steady as things were, we were still two people evolving at our own pace, with interests and activities that sometimes converged and often diverged. To a certain extent, we had let our relationship become a bit dusty. Nearing our tenth anniversary, I was longing to rediscover the fire of purpose in the relationship.
Ours was a marriage formed in prayer. When I met my husband, I had been praying daily to see the attributes of God expressed in a life-companion. Integrity, kindness, responsibility, respect, good fun, commitment to good – spiritual qualities I perceived to be foundational to a permanent relationship - are all sourced in the Creator and reflected throughout creation. I was on the lookout for the expression of these qualities in those around me, so when I met my husband I recognized them right way. And for the first years of marriage, I continued to pray regularly for our couple. But after awhile, that consistent prayer dropped off and was replaced by the day-to-day business of being a family. And the zest? The inspiration? That, too, gradually faded as the relationship was more and more deprived of that element of prayer so essential to its formation.
One of my issues with the marriage concerned the subject of church. This was a big part of my life. And while he fully supported my devotion to church, for him, it wasn’t an interest. So I asked God in prayer, “After ten years together, are we really on completely different life paths? Is there anything that we can do to bring these two different tracks back together?”
As I prayed for answers, I found a helpful insight in Monitor Founder Mary Baker Eddy’s textbook on Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She wrote, “The admission to one's self that man is God's own likeness sets man free to master the infinite idea.” I had been thinking that if only my husband would develop interests similar to mine we could rediscover our bond. But now I understood that he didn’t necessarily need to change at all. I could work on my view of him. I could pray to discern his true spiritual selfhood as a child of God. This could help us both master the infinite possibilities of our marriage.
I took up daily prayer to watch for and witness my husband’s spirituality – that is, to recognize in him, once again, the expression of God’s goodness through the divine qualities that had attracted me to him in the first place. These prayers brought about a rebirth in our marriage. The zest I had been missing, the deeper companionship I sought, was restored to our relationship as I persistently witnessed to my husband’s likeness to God. He, too, noted that our marriage was better than ever.
Prayer isn’t just last minute emergency life-support. Prayer can be a permanent life-link to a zestful expression of God’s goodness. The admission to oneself that everyone in our midst is a child of God, unfolds the joy and inspiration of a fulfilling life aflame with divine Love.